Tuesday, April 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Alert servant foils kidnapping bid
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Panic gripped residents of a street just behind Dandi Swami temple here late last evening when a scooter-borne unidentified person attempted to kidnap a two-year-old grandson of a former Senior Deputy Mayor of the local municipal corporation.

It was mainly presence of mind and bravery of the 12-year-old servant of former Deputy Mayor Jagdish Loomba that the kidnapper’s evil design was foiled. The servant, Prithipal, literally snatched the child, Madhav, back from the hands of the kidnapper as he tried to take him away on his scooter.

Interestingly, the family decided not to lodge a formal complaint with the police even though the Division No. 8 police spent several hours looking for clues about the kidnapper.

This despite the fact that the family had also received a ransom note demanding Rs 10 lakh. The sequence of events, however, pointed to the fact that the kidnapper was an amateur one. Besides, the police also believes that the real aim of the kidnapper was to intimidate the family instead of actually kidnapping the child.

According to the family and police sources, the incident took place few minutes before 7 yesterday evening. The domestic help, Prithipal, was taking the child out in a pram for an evening stroll when a man wearing a helmet came on a Vespa scooter and enquired about Mr Loomba. He began playing with the child and gave a letter to the servant directing him to give it to Mr Loomba.

The servant left the child there and was about to enter the house when he saw that the man was lifting the child from the pram. He raised an alarm and snatched the child back from him after some struggle.

The scooterist fled from the scene. Even though the street was a narrow one yet no one could stop him.

The incident put the city police on the tenterhooks. The kidnapper had written in the letter that the family should pay Rs 10 lakh to him to get the child back. He wrote that further directions would be given in a slip hidden under a brick near Fountain Chowk.

Police sources said DSP Gurjit Singh and SHO of Division No. 8 police station Devinder Kumar personally checked the area around the Fountain Chowk till late night but no slip could be found. Police sources said the ransom note was not written by a professional.

The note read by this correspondent was written in Hindi. It stated, “Your child, son or daughter, is with us. If you want him back, give us Rs 10 lakh. Even less would do. Further instructions would be given on a slip of paper kept under a brick near Fountain Chowk”.

According to police sources the incident was quite strange as the ‘kidnapper’ had attempted to kidnap the child on a scooter and that too from near the Dandi Swami temple where hundreds of people are usually present. Sources said further, the language used in the note was also strange, particularly, the point regarding giving as much money as possible.

The family was also not ready to give any details. No family member was ready to talk and mediapersons were not allowed to come in the house or take photographs.

Police said they would register a case only if the family members lodged a complaint.



Police corrupt and vindictive, alleges Gosain
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
In the wake of startling disclosures through video CDs about deep rooted corruption among local police officers, the BJP has demanded the dismissal of Congress government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, while charging it with corruption and political vendetta.

Revealing the intentions of the party to use the episode as a political weapon, the fire brand BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker of Vidhan Sabha Mr Sat Pal Gosain, alleged in a press conference here today that the police officials were conniving with the criminals and the dubious dealings of senior police functionaries were obviously being patronised by their political masters. The video CDs made by Subhash Katty and Bittu Chawla, showing several police personnel, up to the rank of SHO, accepting money, were also played for the mediapersons on the occasion.

“While on one hand, the police force, right up to the top level, is hand in glove with notorious criminals and anti-social elements, false and fabricated cases are being registered against innocent persons and political activists to settle scores.” He said police officials in the city had made it a routine to book politicians belonging to opposition parties as well as others either as instruments of extortion and black mailing or to serve the interests of the ruling party functionaries.

Mr Gosain maintained that the BJP would not take things lying down and a concerted drive would be launched in consultation with the party leadership to expose the misdeeds of the police officers involved and to extend moral support to victims of police excesses. “Within next week a committee comprising intellectuals, party functionaries and lawyers will be in place in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala to collect data on the registration of false and fabricated cases against political activists so that necessary action could be initiated to defend the victims.” The party would also honour the victims of police torture at appropriate public fora.

The BJP leader minced no words while blaming the district police chief for the malaise of corruption in the force at all levels. “It could not be without the knowledge and even support of the head of the district police that hardened criminals are roaming about freely while political activists, fighting to safeguard the rights of the people are being slapped with criminal charges at the slightest pretext,” he said.

When asked whether the BJP’s line of action to support all those facing charges of corruption after preliminary investigation by the Vigilance Bureau meant that the party had given a clean chit to all of them, Mr Gosain retorted that if the Chief Minister could give a clean chit to top level bureaucrats and his cabinet colleagues, allegedly involved in immoral activities and corruption, then the BJP could also stand by its own functionaries and those of the allies.



Providential escape for over 50 labourers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Around 50 labourers, including women and children, had a narrow escape when a container loaded atop a trailer broke open and fell at the site where they were working at Kajoli village today. The driver of the trailer (HR 26A 4385), which belongs to the city-based Punjab Container Transport Company, was reportedly drunk and apparently lost control of the vehicle leading to a jerk that broke open around 40-foot-long container, pushing it 20 feet down where labourers were working on a bridge site.

The truck driver told Ludhiana Tribune that he was returning from Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh after delivering some heavy machinery. He said the cargo container that was tied to the trailer with a chain slipped off when the chain broke with the impact of the jerk. The contractor, Mr Avtar Singh, who was supervising the construction work at the site over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal on Ludhiana-Chandigarh Highway also had a providential escape as he moved away from the spot minutes before the incident took place.

Mr Surjit Singh, a resident of the village, said the work on the construction of the bridge over the SYL canal had been going on for the past two years. Several accidents had taken place earlier, he added. Mr Gurdarshan Singh, an eyewitness to today’s accident, said the container fell inches away from a labourer and her five children who were sitting nearby.

He said the incident took place around 6 pm and many people would have been crushed under the container. Leelawati said most of the labourers had left for the day minutes before the accident.



From pillar to post for justice
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, April 28
Sham Singh of Mahadipur village has been going from pillar to post for the past about two months, demanding the arrest of Manjit Kaur, mother-in-law of his sister Kulwinder Kaur. She, he alleges, was responsible for the death of his sister.

Belonging to a Scheduled Castes family, Kulwinder Kaur was married to Jasvir Singh of Samrala five years ago. The in-laws allegedly started harassing the victim a few days after the marriage demanding more dowry.

According to Sham Singh, he saw his sister’s father-in-law Saminder Singh, mother -in-law Manjit Kaur, and husband Jasvir Singh quarrelling with her when he went there on March 3. Sham Singh added that he was also accompanied by his mother Gurmail Kaur and a friend Gurmukh Singh. They were also insulted when they tried to intervene.

The next day on March 4, his sister got burnt under mysterious circumstances. He alleged that they were not informed about it till the evening. His sister had died by the time they visited CMC Hospital, Ludhiana, to enquire about her. She is survived by a three-year-old son and a three-month old daughter.

He alleged that the Samrala police had still not arrested the prime suspect Manjit Kaur though it had booked Jasvir Singh and Saminder Singh under Sections 304 B and 34 of the IPC.

When contacted for his comments, SHO Samrala Tejinder Singh told that it was not possible to arrest Manjit Kaur till the completion of the inquiry on an application submitted by her to the SSP, Khanna. 



One booked in fake IVP case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
A year after the Central Post Office, Ludhiana, demanded the registration a case against a local resident for possessing fake Indira Vikas Patras (IVPs), a case was finally registered today by the local police.

Dharam Singh, a resident of Kundan Puri, Civil Lines area, was booked by the police under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC after four IVPs, worth Rs 20,000, that he had presented at a post office for encashment were found to be fake by the authorities of the Postal Department.

According to sources, Dharam Singh had approached the Central Post Office in Bhadaur House a year ago to get the four IVPs encashed. He had claimed that he had purchased the IVPs from somebody while he was living at Raipur in Madhya Pradesh five years ago. After the maturity date, he brought the IVPs to the local post office for encashment.

The authorities, however, directed him to write an application requesting the Raipur postal department to transfer the amount here. When the local post office verified with the Raipur postal department, the authorities there said that the IVPs were not issued by them.

The department became suspicious and wrote to the police immediately to register a case against the person. But the case was not registered immediately as the police wanted to inquire into the case first.

The authorities said the IVPs possessed by Dharam Singh bore a fake rubber stamp of Raipur post office. They said they could, however, not say anything whether the accused had himself forged these or he was also taken for a ride by somebody. 



PSEB gears up to meet power needs
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 28
The Punjab State Electricity Board authorities are gearing to meet the power needs of the state during the next few months when the paddy transplantation starts and the load increases due to rise in temperature.

With the rise in the temperature, the demand for power has already started increasing as on April the power consumption in the state was 680 lakh units and it rose to 715 lakh units on April 22, followed by 743 lakh units on April 23 and 774 lakh units on April 24, respectively. This indicated the use of desert coolers, airconditioners and threshing of wheat in the rural areas.

According to sources close to the PSEB, the power supply to the tubewells in the rural areas is being restricted to four to five hours daily to discourage farmers from transplanting paddy. The PAU experts have advised farmers to take up paddy transplantation in the months of June and July. In the rural areas the single phase power supply is also being subjected to a six-hour cut daily.

The coal supply position at the three thermal plants is stated to be ‘midway’ as the Bathinda Plant has coal for 15 days while Ropar thermal plant has coal for 21 days and Lehra Mohabbat for 15 days respectively. The PSEB authorities feel that the thermal plants should have coal supplies for 20 to 25 days. At present four out of six units of Ropar thermal plant are generating power, while three out of four of Bathinda and all the two units of Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant are generating power. The annual maintenance of the thermal plants is being undertaken which would be completed by May 31 by all means. The PSEB authorities are hoping that the hydro-power generating will be little better as is indicated from the rise in the inflows. Dehar power has indicated increase in inflows from 4600 cusecs on April 22 to 7200 on April 24.

Similarly the inflows in the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra complex are also on the rise. On April 21, the inflows were 14,800 cusecs, which fell to 11,100 cusecs and 12,500 cusecs on April 22 and 23. But again rose to 16,000 cusecs on April 24. The water level in the Bhakra reservoir was reported at 1515 ft on April 24 against 1493 ft. of the last year. The water level in the Pong reservoir was 1308 ft. against 1295 ft.

The Bhakra power complex is generating as many as 121 lakh units of power daily and Punjab gets 43 lakh units out of the same while Dehar is generating 136 lakh units of power and Punjab gets 64 lakh units as its share, respectively.

The PSEB authorities are hoping that the power needs for paddy transplantation would be met in the months of June and July as the monsoon relief will also be available in the month of July, notwithstanding the forecast of lower monsoons this year again. Last year it was drought like situation in the state and the PSEB had to buy huge power from other stated.

To meet the power requirements, the PSEB authorities are negotiating with the Central power plants and the neighbouring states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttranchal. The PSEB has asked these states to supply the power supply under the banking system which these states are committed. These states have to supply 50 lakh units daily to the PSEB. Under the banking system, no payment is received for power supplied by the PSEB in winter to these states and the same is taken back during the peak summer season.

Punjab will be requiring 250 lakh units to 30 0 lakh units extra daily to meet its requirements during the months of June to July and August to meet the paddy requirement.

The PSEB has sought Rs 2350 crore for the purchase of power from the Central projects and Rs 2000 crore for the coal supply and freight for the current year. The request of the PSEB is now lying with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. The PSEB has also approached the Railways to waive 15 per cent surcharge on the default payment which comes to about Rs 180 crore per annum.


Defacement of property continues with impunity
Kuldip Bhatia

The pedestal on which the statue of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha stands in Clock Tower Chowk
The pedestal on which the statue of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha stands in Clock Tower Chowk has been covered all over with posters of all hues. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 28
The hype created by the district authorities and the civic administration against defacement of private and public property in the city and threats to invoke the provisions of Defacement of Public Property Act against the offenders, notwithstanding, the menace continues with impunity, with little or no action from the concerned quarters.

Every conceivable place around the private and government buildings, shopping complexes, government rest houses, the boundary walls of Mini Secretariat, headquarters of Municipal Corporation and outer walls of even some of the police stations in the city remain covered either with posters or wall-writings while the authorities keep watching the situation like a mute spectator.

In particular, owners of private buildings in residential areas are made to face embarrassment and harassment when they find, much to their shock and discomfort, walls of their houses or commercial properties, covered with posters or painted ads. According to the city residents, the common offenders, who violate the rights of property owners, are religious, social and political bodies, who wish to organise a rally or religious congregation, sports tournaments and cultural functions while quacks, so called sex specialists, manufacturers of ‘magic drugs, marriage bureaus, soft drinks makers and liquor companies also take advantage of the laxity of the administration.

Not to be left behind, at times certain government departments also join the bandwagon and stick bills all over the town to announce functions to be held by their respective departments. Even places like statues of the martyrs, guide maps of colonies and foundations stones of residential areas and commercial centres do not escape the handiwork of the ‘bill stickers’. The property owners are sore over the alarming level of the sticking of posters and wall painting in the city with scant regard for the feelings of the occupants and financial loss caused to them by way of smearing the well maintained boundary walls with all kinds of ridiculous messages.

Lamenting the inaction on the part of the official machinery, Mr Vineet Monga, a functionary of Traders and Property Owners Association, observed that by closing its eyes to the menace of defacement of property in the city, the administration was in a way abetting the violation of the law. “The law must not only remain on paper but it ought to be implemented in letter and spirit.” He said the administration, including the Municipal Corporation, PUDA and Improvement Trust would do well to take stern action against the defaulters which would serve as a deterrent for others and safeguard the rights of the property owners.



City reels under generator menace
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 28
The onset of summers has not only brought in misery in terms of frequent power cuts, but has aggravated several health problems in the city owing to aggressive use of generators causing noise and air pollution.

The city has a huge number of small-scale industrial units, mainly in the areas like Focal Point, Industrial Area, Field Ganj, Tajpur Road, Sunder Nagar, Dandi Swami, Deep Nagar, Shimlapuri, Chander Nagar, Miller Ganj, Chand Cinema Road, Ghas Mandi, Civil Lines, etc. These units cannot run without generators and the city has perhaps the largest number of power generators installed on both residential and business premises, making the problem all the more acute.

Residents say they are aware of the problems (air and noise pollution) caused by these generators but they do not have any option but to expose themselves to the pollution. Rajnish Mishra, a resident of Field Ganj, says their next door neighbours run a small industrial unit from their house and whenever there is a power-cut, they switch on the generators. “We cannot ask them to stop using generators. Their income depends on their work output,” says Mr Mishra.

Health experts stress that the recent surveys conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that prolonged and excessive exposure to noise can cause serious ear, nose and throat ailments. Noise pollution can have an adverse impact on a person’s performance. Noise above 80 decibel may also increase aggressive behaviour. In developing nations like India, not only are the industrial noise levels higher but the problem is worsened with the high level of community noise.

There has been a sudden spurt in respiratory ailments in the city, one of the private medical practitioners said. Those dealing in generators say though “silent” generators are available in the market people still prefer to opt for “cheaper” and “noisier” ones.



Making a big stir at parties
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 28
Earlier it was a norm at parties where liquor was served to mix ones own drinks. Waiters simply moved with different types of drinks, ice, water and soda. But that is passe.

With ostentatious and designer weddings being the norm with Ludhiana’s elite, designer bars are being set up where guests are getting the taste of exotic cocktails. Drinks are made in professional style using lots of fancy ingredients by expert bartenders with a lot of jugglery involved.

Sandeep Verma with his team of bartenders, especially Anoushka from Bosnia, are invited at marriages, receptions and other functions held at various clubs for their uniqueness. They set up a bar counter and serve drinks to the guests. Their popularity has risen to an extent that they come to the city every week from Delhi where Sandeep and his team are based.

Anoushka made many heads turn when she appeared on the bartending scene along with Sandeep. Her attractive looks, polite behaviour, and mixing of drinks to perfection has made her very popular.

Anoushka says: “When I joined Sandeep’s company, I wondered what I could do behind a bar, but when I was taken to a party by him for the first time I saw everybody enjoying bartending. So I took to bartending as a part-time job to finance my studies. Whether in Hyderabad or Rajasthan or UP, it really takes time for people to take to a woman bartender at the initial stage. Then respect for the job well done replaces awe.”

She handles the crowds with great presence of mind. She says she comes across 10,000 people in a week and as a foreigner she understands that even if she smiles at someone in the party, she can be easily misunderstood. So she keeps a straight face. How does she handle people who get high after a few drinks? She says: “Since we are in hospitality business, our job is to give satisfaction and not annoy any body. In such sticky situation, I move away from bar for sometime.”

Anoushaka had come to meet her relatives working in Bosnia Herzegovina Embassy three years ago. She thought she would like to extend her visit. She met Sandeep at a party where she was a hostess. She watched him doing his job with love, sincerity and deftness and she joined him as a part-time bartender.

According to Sandeep: “The concept of bartending has undergone a radical change in India. Bartending is not simply mixing of drinks or flaring of bottles or tossing of ice cubes or of glassware in the air. It is the personality behind the bar that counts. Bartending involves flamboyance and entertainment. All these are mixed like an exotic cocktail and presented over the counter with some persons presenting choreographic dance steps behind the bar to keep the guests amused. We even show card tricks.”

Sandeep strayed into the profession when a bartender hired at a party did not turn up. He had bartending experience in Dubai and was coaxed into the job. The way he served drinks fascinated people so much that he was booked on the spot for three more parties. He was in a fix for some time as he did not want to quit his managerial job for bartending. But the money involved was tempting and he decided to start a company that has grown from one bartender to 45 bartenders.



Scooter rally by BJYM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) organised a scooter rally in protest against the decision of the government to start casinos in the state.
Carrying posters and banners, the protesters gathered near Shingar Cinema and raised slogans against the decision.

Led by the state unit general secretary of the morcha, Mr Kamal Chaitley, and the district chief, Mr Jewan Gupta, the protesters passed through various areas of the city and gathered in front of the Mini-Secretariat at noon.

Mr Gupta said on the one hand the government was urging youngsters to shun drugs and intoxicants, but on the other it had drawn an elaborate policy to open casinos in the state, which would encourage gambling. He said the government’s contention that such a move would attract tourists besides earning revenue was erroneous.

Other leaders recalled the glorious traditions of the Congress during the freedom struggle and said it was ironical that a party that had been committed to eradicate social evils from society was today opening casinos.

Later, a delegation of senior party leaders submitted a memorandum to the Governor through the Deputy Commissioner. 



Pensioners: fulfil poll promises
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
The Government Pensioners’ Association, in a meeting held here yesterday, flayed the ruling Congress for not keeping poll promises made at the time of Assembly elections in February last year.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, said after completing more than one year in the office and having presented two Budgets, not even a single promise made in the election manifesto had been fulfilled. The manifesto promised a hike in medial allowance, grant of house rent allowance and implementation of pending recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission.

Members of the association said a report containing 10 major recommendations concerning pensioners was submitted to the state government on February 20, 1998. The Badal government implemented two recommendations, but others were still pending, they added. They said there was no point in setting up a pay commission if its recommendations were not to be implemented.

The pensioners pointed out that former MLAs drawing pension in Punjab had been allowed old-age allowance at rates of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent of their basic pension on attaining the age of 65, 75 and 80, respectively. However, the Punjab Government pensioners were given such benefits only at 65 and 75 years of age.

They said though the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission had recommended tax-free pension for them, the government did not implement the provision. On the other hand, the Punjab ministers had been allowed tax-free salaries. The pensioners also sought house rent allowance and a hike in medical allowance as promised in the manifesto.



Three sewing centres opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
On the request of the residents Nishkam has started three sewing school centres at three different places in and around Ludhiana. The first sewing school centre was started at Gurdwara Sukh Sagar Parkash , Salem Tabri where 35 students were registered. Nishkam provided sewing machines for training along with its prescribed syllabus. Nishkam is already running its third computer training centre here for the last more than one year.

At the second sewing school centre at Gurdwara Ravi Dass Karabara, where 40 girls got admission. Sewing machines were given.

The third sewing school centre was inaugurated on April 26 at Gurdwara at Bhaini Gaha village. Here 55 girls got admission on the very first day. Almost all girls getting registered have either cleared plus two or have appeared for their +2 examination this year.

Nishkam sewing school centres training programme is spread over a period of six months. The syllabus comprises of training in cutting and stitching 31 clothes. At Nishkam’s sewing school centres all girls are admitted irrespective of age, education and caste and creed.



Rice millers to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 28
The Rice Millers Association of the Amloh area at a meeting chaired by its President, Mr Randhir Singh Gill, in the market committee complex here today urged the state government to pay interest on the levy rice which is paid by the central pool to the state government which has not been disbursed to the millers.

Mr Rakesh Kumar Garg, secretary of the association said the Panjab and Haryana High Court had also decided the case in their favour for the payment of interest beyond 48 hours which becomes several crores of rupees, he added.

Mr Roshan Lal, state press secretary of the association said the association had decided to approach the legislators of their respective areas in connection with the acceptance of their demand. They will intensify the stir by holding districtwise meetings of the millers in case their demands were not accepted.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, local MLA, has made recommendations to the state government to review the policy for the disposal of gunny bags of 50 kg pack left surplus after milling of government/agency paddy for 2002-2003.

Earlier, the paddy used to be filled in 100 kg capacity bags in 65 kg weight whereas 75 kg capacity bags contained 50 kg weight. The surplus gunny bags were retained by the millers on payment of their costs fixed by the government from time to time. The surplus bags were reused for the storage of potatoes or wheat fetching almost equal market price to the millers as the bags containing paddy become empty within three months period.

From this year the paddy is being filled in 50 kg capacity bags containing 33 kg weight. The small capacity bags of paddy are useless for the millers. It was further stated in the recommendations that the price of bags at the rate of Rs 11 charged from the millers is much higher than the market price which does not exceed rupees 5 per bag, causing a big loss to the millers.

It was suggested that the government may take back the surplus gunny bags and these may be reused for procurement in the next season or alternatively. The same can be sold to millers at the rate prevailing in the market which is near about Rs 5 a bag. The government has recovered 100 per cent drought relief from the millers at the rate of rupees 20 per quntal. from the millers for payment to the farmers in the shape of bonus but purchased 75 per cent levy instead of 100 per cent.

The meeting demanded the interest on the securities deposited by the millers with the agencies which were not returned to the millers for years together.



PNB interaction with doctors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
In the time of growing competitive environment in the banking sector, Punjab National Bank has started pursuing excellence through continuous improvement in all areas with a view to distinguish itself by quality of services. This was stated by Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Punjab Zone, while presiding over a doctors’ meet here on Saturday.

Mr Bhargava told the gathering that recognising the potential offered by the retail segment, the bank has continued its emphasis on financing retail customers. Various retail lending schemes to finance housing, traders, professionals, including doctors, conveyance and consumers, education, pensioners etc. have been made more customer friendly. These schemes have generated encouraging response.

He further said that the bank continued its focus on enhancing lending in retail segments, especially in trading and housing segments. In order to cater exclusively to traders’ community, the bank also plans to open trade finance branches. During the year ended March, 2003, the disbursement in retail lending was to the tune of Rs 419 crore, out of which total advances under housing were Rs 145 crore.

On computerisation Mr Bhargava said that PNB had 461 computerised branches in the Punjab zone, out of total 486 branches, capturing more than 95 per cent of the business as on March ending this year.

Referring to the Centralised Banking Solutions (CBS), an ambitious project of the bank planning to inter-connect its branches, Mr Bhargava further said that 14 branches of PNB in Punjab zone have already migrated to CBS system and customers of these branches are able to operate their accounts all over India at CBS branches. 112 branches at major centres i.e. Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Meerut, Panchkula etc, have already come under CBS system as on 31.3.2003. Central Banking Solution leverages web technology, which will provide the bank with a platform to offer integrated world-class financial products and services to the customers. As part of CBS, the bank is going to introduce the facility of internet banking services at its all its CBS branches shortly.

Mr A.K. Loomba, Senior Regional Manager, Ludhiana, said that bank was already having various schemes for doctors for financing home loan, education loan for studies in India or abroad, for setting up of clinics/nursing homes/medical related equipment. Mr Loomba told that bank is providing need-based loans to the doctors at most competitive rates under the above schemes. Mr Surinder Puri, Senior Manager (retail lending), and Ms Meenakshi Maini, Senior Manager (marketing), presented the details of the schemes means for doctors.

Earlier, Mr A.K. Jaitely, chief manager, welcomed the doctors and appreciated their role in society. He also narrated in brief the history of Punjab National Bank and apprised the details of an ambitious project of providing connectivity to 2000 branches in India under the Centralised Banking Solutions.

About 150 doctors participated in the meet. Dr Gursharan Singh, MD, president, IMA Ludhiana, Mr V.K. Gupta, DGM, Mr H.L. Arora, DGM, and Mr Chand Singh, Dy. Zonal Manager, were also present on the occasion.


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