L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SSF for excommunication of Sikh convention organisers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The Sikh Students Federation (SSF) has demanded the excommunication of the organisers of the World Sikh Convention “as they have denigrated the authority of Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs”.

Terming the organisers as anti- panth, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president of the outfit, said they would give a befitting reply to the organisers, who have dared to challenge the authority of Akal Takht. The whole show was sponsored by the Congress and was yet another audacious attempt by the party to interfere in the religious matters of the Sikhs, he said.

“No self-respecting Sikh will tolerate that a section of self-styled Sikh writers and intellectuals start addressing the issues before the Panth by first undermining the authority of Akal Takht. It was the beacon not only for the community in India but the Sikh diaspora worldwide. Such an attack at the very foundation of the faith would not be tolerated, he warned.

He said the convention organisers had played into the hands of the detractors of the faith by forgetting that the Gurus themselves vested authority in the temporal seat. Hence, it was above all if’s and but’s. The event also brought to fore the designs of the government, which wants to create fissions among the masses for obvious reasons, he pointed out.

Castigating the role of Prof Gurtej Singh, Professor of Sikhism, he said he should have refrained from commenting on the sensitive issues of a faith on the basis of being an intellectual. History is replete with the fate such persons met. They tried to harm their own religion on the basis of wrong and erroneous interpretations of conventions in the past, he said.

“It is ironical that the Professor of Sikhism, who claims to have inherited the legacy of the legendary philosopher Sardar Kapur Singh, has today challenged the supremacy of the Jathedar in issuing edicts for the welfare of the qaum.

Condemning the “tacit support extended to the organisers by Capt Amarinder Singh,” he said the Chief Minister chose to turn a blind eye to the event but wasted no time in detaining thousands of activists who were on their way to the venue. It was an attempt by the Chief Minister to turn the attention of the people away from the miserable performance of this government, he said.

He also welcomed the move to expel the SGPC members Darbara Singh Jeona and his wife Jaswinder Kaur from the primary membership of SAD. He also appealed to the party chief to convene a meeting on this issue so that a strategy could be chalked out to deal with such irritants.



Admn plans to tackle dengue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The district administration has launched a comprehensive plan for the prevention and treatment of dengue in Ludhiana. To finalise the modalities, a high-level meeting was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr S. K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation. Dr S. N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, Mr Prem Chand SDM (East), Mr Kuldip Singh, SDM (West), and Dr Sandeep Puri Medical Superintendent, DMC, were among others who attended the meeting.

Various preventive and curative measures to tackle the problem of dengue were discussed at the meeting. The Deputy Commissioner informed after the meeting that 40 medical teams constituted by the Health Department would particularly cover all those areas from where dengue cases were reported and other potential localities in general to check and clear all water stagnating points, including water coolers, pots, pits etc. and educate the people to empty the water containers positively once a week to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes. He said sufficient number of supervisors to monitor the working of these teams had been deputed and the SDMs concerned would make cross-checking on a daily basis.

Mr Verma further informed that it was also decided to publish pamphlets for distribution among the people with a view to creating awareness. He said to eradicate mosquitoes, an intensive fogging campaign with the active support of the Municipal Corporation in all the areas of the city would be carried out. For this purpose, the Health Department would identify the target places.

To create awareness among the masses, the services of educational institutions would be availed and all Principals of educational institutions were being asked to educate the students at the morning prayers regarding symptoms and prevention measures suggested by the experts against dengue. He also asked the Civil Surgeon to make checking after the visit of the teams and impose a fine of Rs 500 against those families who were found guilty of providing breeding places for mosquitoes.

The Deputy Commissioner said that a control room had been set up in the office of Civil Surgeon to provide any kind of information and help to check the spread of mosquitoes. He said in case the medical teams do not visit their areas, people should contact the control room.

Mr S. K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, informed that the Municipal Corporation had already systemised the daily lifting of rubbish from all earmarked dumps and the garbage was being lifted regularly. He said the Municipal Corporation would extend all kinds of help in making the city clean and carrying out extensive fogging in the localities identified by the Health Department.

Dr S. N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, said that the awareness campaign would be further accelerated and appealed to the people to fully cooperate with the visiting teams of the Health Department to clear the stagnant water. Referring to the possible symptoms of dengue, the Civil Surgeon informed that severe pain, low blood pressure and vomiting were reported to be the main symptoms of dengue.

Meanwhile, Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, DMC, informed that most of the dengue cases had been reported from affluent areas.



6 improvement trust employees, others arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The Vigilance Bureau yesterday arrested six employees of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and two others on charges of misappropriation, corruption, fraud and fabrication of documents.

The arrested persons have been identified as Chander Kanta, Harjeet Singh, a beldar, Pritam Singh, a senior assistant, Malkiat Kaur, Balbir Ram, Krishan Lal, all clerks, Narinder Kumar, principal of a private school, and his wife, Rama Sharma.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP (Vigilance), said Chander Kanta and Harjeet Singh were accused of unlawfully handing over the possession of a plot in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar locality to Ms Ninder Kaur for Rs 80,000 in the year 2000. The plot was originally allotted to Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Urban Estate, Dugri, in 1994 but the allotment was cancelled for default in payment of instalments. The accused had allegedly fabricated documents in the name of the original allottee, who had died in 1997, and fraudulently handed over the possession to Ms Ninder Kaur.

The other case involved irregular allotment of two flats in Rishi Balmiki Nagar in the year 1993 and 1998 to Narinder Kumar and his wife with the connivance of four employees of the trust.

Preliminary investigations made by Mr Daljinder Singh, DSP, revealed that Rama Sharma had secured allotment of flats in a scheme of the trust on the basis of forged documents which included income tax clearance certificates.

She had claimed in one of the applications as being unmarried and had submitted some fabricated documents to the trust, the vigilance officials maintained.

The SSP said more arrests could not be ruled out.



8 remanded into police custody

Ludhiana, October 29
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Arunvir Vashisht, today remanded six employees of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and the principal of a private school and his wife in police custody till October 30. All accused were arrested by the Vigilance Bureau yesterday. OC



Fee hike unjust, feel students
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 29
Panjab University has decided to hike the tuition and admission fee in its 110 affiliated colleges by 20 per cent from the coming academic session. The decision was taken by a committee, which met at the university on behalf of the Senate yesterday.

The committee that held its second meeting yesterday was constituted by the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, in August after the Senate on July 6, while rejecting the fee hike proposal of the Punjab Government, had decided that the PU should look into the entire fee structure and make it reasonable. This increase in the fee is latest in the series of hikes in the past six months.

The student community is quite baffled at the constant hike in fee. Ludhiana Tribune spoke to some students and leaders of student organisations to gauge their reactions. Sandeep Kapoor, district co-ordinator of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), said: “The Punjab government is anti-student. That is why it had hiked the fee substantially in May. It was only after intense agitation that the fee hike was later withdrawn. Then the UT Administration hiked the fee in city colleges, which despite protests, had not been rolled back. With the latest hike, there will be different fee structures in colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh. Why doesn’t the university think of encouraging student leaders to handle country’s responsibilities. Political leaders say the students are leaders of tomorrow, but do they instill leadership qualities in us?”

Nitika Garg, joint secretary, ABVP, said: “Panjab University does not keep interests of students in mind or else it would not have hiked the fee. The college authorities have not adjusted the extra fee that the students had deposited in May and after the rollback they had to give back the money to students. Now they have hiked the fee again. They never talk of things that interest students like holding of elections for students. We are not developing any leadership qualities. How then will we take over the reins of the country when the responsibility falls on our shoulders?”

Bhuvan, a student of B.Com-II of Kamla Lotia SD College, said the increase in fee was uncalled for. The fee hike should not have been announced in the mid of the session, as it was unsettling for many students who now wonder whether they would continue with their education from next session.

Vishal, another student of Kamla Lotia SD College, said Panjab University wanted to function on the pattern of foreign universities but that pattern could not be adopted here as the environment here was different. Hence the fee hike was not justified.

Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal, president, Ludhiana Student Union, says: “We request the university to roll back the hike in fee as it burdens the student. Last time around when the fee was hiked, we had to protest before it was rolled back.

If the university does not roll back the fee hike we will be forced to agitate.”



Sangh Parivar flayed for communal designs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Activists of the Peoples Front for Defence of Secularism and Democracy today held a rally here to expose the ‘nefarious designs’ of the Sangh Parivar.
Addressing protesters, Mr Mangat Ram Pasla said the Sangh Parivar, which is operating through several offshoots like the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the BJP, were spreading communal hatred against the minorities and were out to destroy the communal harmony and the basic social fabric of society. Other speakers pointed out that every field was being saffronised. “In the field of education, historical facts are being distorted and syllabi are being changed. Education, including higher education, has been commercialised. This has deprived the poor and downtrodden sections of society. Myths are being propagated. Astrology has been accorded the status of a science and now it is being argued by a Central minister that even ‘tantra mantras’ have scientific basis. Even prestigious institutions like the NCERT have not been spared.”

“Democratic institutions are being over looked. Draconian laws are being introduced with a purpose to suppress the minorities in a very subtle manner. Real issues concerning society are being sidelined and non-issues are being highlighted for narrow political gains. The Ram Mandir issue is being brought to the forefront to exploit religious sentiments of the people for their vested political interests. Now that elections in five states are approaching, this issue has again been revived and the recent happenings in Ayodhya are a pointer to this. Minorities have been threatened”, they alleged.

“In the name of globalisation and liberalisation country’s assets are being sold out to the multinational companies. Public sector is being intentionally undermined and denigrated.”

Among others present at the rally were Mr O.P. Mehta, general secretary, AITUC, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, Mr Kartar Singh Bowani of the Punjab Kissan Sabha, Prof A.K. Maleri of the Association for Democratic Rights, Mr Bhajan Singh of the Democratic Teachers Union, Mr Amarnath Koom Kalan of the CITU, Mr Raghbir Singh and Mr Baldev Singh Latala, both of the Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, Mr D.P. Maur, president, PAU Employees Union, Mr S.P. Sharma and Mr Harbans Lal of the Joint Council of Trade Unions, Ms Jit Kumari, general secretary, Punjab Istri Sabha, Mr Kuldip Singh Binder, president, All-India Youth Federation, Mr Kirpal Singh of the Punjab Kissan Sabha, Mr Shinder Singh of the Lal Jhanda Bhatta Mazdoor Union, Mr Kewal Krishan, Mr Jagat Ram and Mr Ramesh Rattan of the AITUC, Mr Gurcharan Singh of the Government Teachers Union, Mr Vijay Narain of the Moulders and Steel Workers Union, Prof Jagmohan Singh, Mr Jaswant Zirakh and Dr Rajinder Pal Singh Aulaukh, Maj Sher Singh Aulakh, Dr S.K. Prabhakar, Kameshwar of the Construction Workers Union, Mr Jasbir Singh of the Diesel Shed Union and Mr Kanwaljit Khanna, general secretary, Inqlabi Kender, Ludhiana.



Proposal to wind up post office flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Residents of Kidwai Nagar and adjoining localities have expressed their resentment to a proposal of the postal authorities of Punjab circle to wind up the Kidwai Nagar post office, along with many others in the city as a part of the elaborate exercise by the department on all-India basis aimed at cutting expenditure.

Public Cause, a social service body of the area, has termed the decision to close down the post office, operating for the last 30 years, as unwarranted and unfortunate. Mr Yash Pal Ghai, director of the society, observed that if given effect, the move would deny postal facilities to thousands of residents in Kidwai Nagar, New Kidwai Nagar, Amarpura, Habib Ganj, Mushtaq Ganj, Islam Ganj and Janakpuri colonies.

According to Mr Ghai, if the government criteria for closure of post offices at several places in the country was lack of adequate business or income, then the idea to close down this particular post office was certainly misdirected. “Practically, the three employees working in this post office rather complain of being over burdened with booking of money orders, registered letters, receipt of telephone bills, operation of monthly income, savings and PPF accounts and sale of National Saving Certificates and Kisan Vikas Patras.”

When the post office was opened in this colony in 1973, the population in the localities served by it was not more than 20,000 which had now crossed a lakh. In addition, a large number of business houses, industry, several educational institutions, two colleges and banks avail postal services on a regular basis, added Mr Ghai while pleading for review of the decision, which was even otherwise unjust.

However, the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices (SSPO) being away on leave, other officials in the office of the SSPO told Ludhiana Tribune that it was a tentative proposal and no final decision had been taken so far in this respect. The postal official said income generated by the post office was not the lone criteria for proposed closure and various other factors in accordance with the guidelines of the government would be taken into account before implementation of any decision.



Lone struggle for justice
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, October 29
Manju Bala (25), who was allegedly burnt by her in-laws a few months back, has been running from pillar to post to seek justice. She alleges that the police, at the behest of a local counsellor refused to register the case.

According to Manju Bala, who has done B Com from A.S.College, Khanna, her marriage with Satish Kumar, a resident of Basti Jodhewal, was solemnised on April 14, 2000. She alleged that after the marriage, she was harassed by her in-laws for not bringing dowry and insisted her husband to remarry. “But my husband always stood by my side. He knew that his parents were troubling me without any fault of mine. They used to beat him also”, said Manju Bala.

She further alleged, “On January 23, 2003, My father in-law Neki Ram, mother-in-law Maya Devi, brother-in-law Raj Kumar, his wife Raj Bala and younger brother-in-law Attu burnt me when my husband was away. On hearing my screams, neighbours intervened. Shocked over the incident, my husband decided to live separately from his parents. Since then, we are living in a rented house at Kailash Chowk.

But despite repeated attempts, I have failed to lodge a complaint against my in-laws with the police. The Basti Jodhewal police have refused to listen to me because the area councilor, who is close to my in-laws, is shielding them”.

The complainant had submitted several applications dated July 5, 2001, October 18, 2002 and November 16, 2002 to the police stations concerned that she was being harassed by her in-laws, but to no avail.

Mr Amarjit Singh, the next door neighbour and a witness, when contacted, said,”Manju’s in-laws used to beat her and her husband mercilessly. She was thrashed by her in-laws on January 23.

After hearing her screams, when we reached her house, she was seriously burnt. She was immediately taken to a nursing home at the Rahon road and after getting treatment for seven days, she was discharged.”

Dr S.S.Arora, the attending doctor at Preet Hospital, when contacted said, “Manju was conscious when she was brought here. I told the family that she could get the treatment at the hospital only if the incident was an accident. I got a written statement from the family in which they mentioned that she received burn injuries while boiling milk for her son. I do not have more details about the incident”, said Dr Arora.

Meanwhile, Maya Devi, who was reluctant to talk to the correspondent initially, said,”I do not know how she got burnt. We are not on talking terms with the couple for long.” 



Lecture on gender bias in society
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Ms Kiran Soni Gupta, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer and an old student of the Government College for Women, Ludhiana, delivered a lecture on ‘Gender bias’ in the college auditorium yesterday. She said, “Although we are living in male dominated society, yet the women are playing an important role. India has advanced considerably in women liberation. It is hoped that in the times to come, women will become more self sufficient and liberated.”

She said after Independence, the condition of women has immensely changed. Our national leaders, and women organisations were working hard for the emancipation of the women and now they have started taking active part in the national life.

“There is a great disparity between the rural and urban women. The rich and highly educated women are practically at par with men. On the other hand, the rural and poor women have to work under miserable conditions. The humiliation which they suffer at the hands of their dominating husbands is deplorable. This is all due to lack of education ad economic independence,” said Ms Soni.

She urged the students to be proud of being women. The achievements of women in all walks of life should change the mentality of people. The girl child is taken as a ‘praya dhan.’ The answer to these problems does not lie in the formal education but in changing the mind set of the people that daughters deserve equal opportunities as sons of the family.

Economic independence is must to show her capability and morale. The real potential of women has to be realised. “We have to bring in qualitative improvement in the life of a girl child. The masses should be convinced that the girl is as much as an asset as her brother,” said Ms Kiran

Ms Kusum Ahuja, principal of the college, thanked the guest for delivering the lecture. Ms Manjit Sodhia, a former Principal of the college, was also present on the occasion.



SBI officers felicitate office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
A function was organised by SBI officers to felicitate the newly elected office-bearers of the Ludhiana zonal office unit of the State Bank of India Officers Association at Gill Road branch here today. Mr S.K. Kapoor, Chief Manager, presided over the function, which was attended by Mr G.P.S. Bakshi, treasurer, and Mr Chanchal Singh, regional secretary.

The team headed by Mr Vijay Magan, president, and Mr Amar Paul, general secretary of association, retained majority in the elections to the association’s governing body in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. More than 4,500 officers of the SBI in Chandigarh circle took part in the elections and over 80 to 85 per cent votes were cast in favour of the panels fielded by the reigning group.

While welcoming the new team, Mr N.K. Gosain, Manager, P&B, expressed gratitude to the functionaries of the association for making efforts for the betterment of the officer community. He expressed confidence that the new team would strive hard to safeguard the interests of the officers.

Mr S.S. Arora, Manager, DBD, and Mr A.K. Kapur, Deputy Manager, Accounts, were also present and spoke about the contributions made by activists of the association.



Subsidise mosquito coils

Fevers like malaria, dengue and filaria which are due to mosquito bite have proved fatal. All research done the world over has proved futile. It’s quite apparent that even the exceptionally powerful country like America has raised hands before this tiny but invincible enemy. Age- long researches have come to the conclusion that we can only have preventions and no remedy.

The world has discovered vaccines for fatal diseases but still there is no vaccine for the mosquito bite. To sum up, they have become drug resistant. Thus, we can only opt for defensive measures as far the battle with this enemy is concerned, nothing offensive could prove fruitful.

Nevertheless, it is quite interesting that this devil does not like cleanliness — means it remains away from the clean surroundings. Malaria is such a deadly disease that it comes back again and again. About 50 million new cases of malaria are reported every year of which about 1 million end in death. And the sorry part of the reality is that in our country masses live either in slums or in villages, even after the passage of more than half century of Independence.

Our masses do not have even basic amenities and facts are quite stunning that a majority of them is living under poverty line and cannot afford even the cheapest means of preventions as mosquito coils. A survey made by NCAER shows that 44 per cent households in our country cannot afford to have basic amenities as well as health and hygiene amenities.

It is the high time that our government takes effective steps to make this product (mosquito coil) cheap so that this may reach to the poorest masses and they are benefited by it.

Mosquito coils at present are being subjected to various taxes both by the Central and state governments which has made this eco-friendly product out of the reach of poor people. Making this product cheaper will be a boon to our down-trodden masses.

Recently, the Punjab Government has abolished sales tax of 4 per cent levied on pesticides, which is a welcome move by the government, and similar types of steps are expected from the Central Government in this area.

The government is, therefore, requested to provide subsidy to the manufacturers by way of abolishing various taxes on the raw material like abolishing excise duty, which at present is too high at 16 percent. Excise levied on this cheapest and safe means to repel mosquitoes that helps in preventing the outbreak of deadly diseases ought not to be collected from the already starving public.

Virinder Sharma, Ludhiana

Hazardous Divali

Every year we celebrate the festival of Divali with great pomp and show. An unaccountable wealth is wasted on this occasion in the form of bursting crackers, gambling and drinking. But we never think what have we gained on this day.

In the ancient period, this festival was celebrated with lights and exchange of love and sweets with each other. Never was this day celebrated inhumanly in the past. While celebrating it we never think what we are contributing to our society and humanity. Today, bursting of crackers, gambling, drinking and other unethical acts have become an integral part of this festival, which create only unhygienic, unhealthy, hazardous and polluted environment for all of us.

Actually, the day was celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. We should celebrate it by renouncing our bad deeds every year. Ironically, we indulge in all the vices we should abhor on that day.

Every year we observe that several human lives are lost in accidents while bursting crackers. Many children are seriously hurt or recieve burn injuries. Besides this, many dangerous gases are emitted in the combustion of crackers which pollute the environment.

We should take an oath not to use crackers on this day. Let it be celebrated with exchange of love, sweets and gifts of beautiful plants to decorate our houses and surrounding areas. Let us light our souls by removing the inner darkness of hate, ignorance and misunderstanding.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana

Tall claims of SK Sharma

The views expressed by Dr Iqbal Singh and Mr Satnam Singh Khera in Ludhiana Tribune dated 23.10.2003 in these columns contradict the tall claims of the civic amenities made available to the residents made by Municipal Commissioner S.K. Sharma, in the press notes of the civic body published in the paper at regular intervals.

Needless to say that the Commissioner has used every opportunity to highlight his so-called achievements ignoring the press reports and the public complaints about the declining living conditions in the city. Ground realities do not support his contentions as has been expressed by Maj. S.S. Khosla under the heading ‘Blatant lies’ in Ludhiana Tribune, dated 4.9.2003.

Public reaction in the local press shows that the citizens are fed up with the deteriorating condition of roads, water supply, sanitary conditions, stinking garbage, neglected parks, violation if building bye laws and rampant corruption in the civic body.

Even the local Minister and some of the councillors, besides the media, have contradicted his claim about 100 per cent water supply in the city. Further, the PSHRC was furnished with a false report on 7.8.2003 that all 717 parks in the city were being maintained by the LMC departmentally w.e.f. 1.10.2002, which was vehemently refuted by the Federation of PMCs with facts and figures.

The Commissioner has also promised Ludhianavis that all the streetlights would be made functional by 15.10.2003. This too has remained on paper only because nearly 50 per cent of lights in Sarabha Nagar and 70 per cent in Park No. 216 are non-functional even after Diwali, although a number of complaints were made besides requesting the JE and EE concerned.

Regrettably, there was no sign of remorse on his face when the Commissioner was defending himself on the plea that all the water samples collected by LMC were free from contamination when a team lead by the DC visited Giaspura in the face of gastroenteritis epidemic which claimed four lives and hundreds were taken ill.

However, 50 per cent of the water samples collected by the visiting team on 25.9.2003 and tested at Chandigarh were found to be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

The Commissioner claimed it as no mean achievement to have improved the quality of life by providing better amenities to the citizens and an effective delivery system. The Punjab Lawyers Forum in its meeting held on 30.9.2003 strongly condemned the prevailing situation in the city and sought the intervention o of the human rights’ bodies to save the lives of the people, who are dying of dengue and gastroenteritis due to supply of impure drinking water and apathetic sanitary conditions.

The forum has held the MC Commissioner responsible for the outbreak of diseases in the city. Similarly, the District Youth Congress (Urban) in the rally held on 14.10.2003 has demanded the transfer of the Commissioner with immediate effect.

As regards the philosophy of ‘Karma’ being followed by Mr Sharma, suffice to add that every public servant is expected to discharge his duties diligently and honestly with a motto ‘Service before Self’ without any expectation for reward or recognition, which are built in the system. However, Mr Sharma has already been rewarded with the post of MC Commissioner by transferring a senior IAS officer because of his proximity to the Chief Minister who continues to support him despite the adverse public reaction.

He has also managed to get recognition from the LMA and Jaycees, although a majority of the LMA executive members, as revealed by an insider, were not happy with the award. And corruption is rampant in the corporation, as recently admitted by a Minister.

Similarly, recognition given by the Planning Commission to the LMC was the result of presentation made by Mr S.S. Sandhu, the then Commissioner, in September 2002, while launching a campaign on ‘Good urban governance’ in New Delhi. However, Mr Sharma had no qualms claiming credit for the same as well. He should better let the people judge his performance rather than indulging in self-praise.

S.S. Chana, I.F.S. (Retd.), Ludhiana

Bylaw violations

It has been reported time and again building bylaw violations are possible only in connivance with the Municipal Corporation (MC) officials who strike deals with the offenders, for a consideration. Later on, violations keep on multiplying in the absence of stern measures to check the same. So far, the collusion as mentioned although has been checked a number of times by the concerned officials but could not be controlled completely due to obvious reasons.

What’s required is not regularising the non-compoundable obstructive constructions which otherwise have to be demolished. If at all the authorities are bent upon in condoning the non-compoundable violations, then punishment to the wrongdoers should also include imposition of a heavy fine say @ Rs. 1000/- per sq. ft. The fine or fee thus collected is passed on to the resident(s) or sufferer(s) affected by such illegal constructions. At the same time, the MC/Local Government for not taking action owing to said collusion should also pay at least twice the amount of fine or fee recovered, to the affected resident(s).

The amounts taken together would serve as a part of compensation for remodelling of building(s) affected by obstructive constructions. If the government initiates the indicated suggestion, the administrative machinery will certainly get activated to take rapid and timely action not only in enforcing bylaws but also in forbidding connivance and the violations once for all. The suggested action would be to keep intact the very basic architectural structure of well-planned posh colonies in urban areas.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Ludhiana

Important phone numbers

It has been observed that you have stopped printing important telephone numbers of various public amenities of the city in Ludhiana Tribune. Your earlier practice of printing the telephone numbers of police and others has helped in containing the law and order problems of people with timely feedback and information from the people.

Since Ludhiana is now a multifaced city with a large population, it is requested that you please start publishing important telephone numbers in this newspaper the earliest.

J.S. Sidhu, VPO Bhatian, Ludhiana



Goods train derailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The engine and a wagon of a goods train coming from Baprala, near Aligarh, and going to Jalandhar derailed at platform No.3 of the Ludhiana railway station around 2 am last night. No loss to life or property was reported.

The derailment caused disruption in rail traffic on the track. The trains that were to arrive at platform No. 3 were diverted to other tracks. According to Mr Ashok Kumar, Station Superintendent, the rail traffic on other tracks was, however, unaffected. According to latest reports, the track had been cleared and the normal flow of traffic had been restored.



Local developers keep fingers crossed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Though the Sahara Group has entered the real estate business in Punjab, it remains to be seen how much dint it makes in the final analysis into the local colonisers’ business.

Though formal announcement of the Sahara Homes was done today through advertisements in all major newspapers, the para-banking branches of the Sahara group and its associates had commenced booking of the flats for quite some time now against an earnest money ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh. While the company officials here refuse to divulge the exact details of the booking so far, saying it was being done on an all-India basis on the Internet, it is learnt that the offer had evoked a tremendous response, both among actual buyers and speculators.

As far as actual site for the proposed township is concerned, the local officials of the Sahara group maintained that the company was keeping it a closely guarded secret in order to check the speculative spurt in land prices in the area.

Mr J.K. Anand, sector manager of Sahara Pariwar, said when the site is finally selected, the company would announce it. Certain speculative rumours were being floated by land-owners just to achieve appreciation of their property, he claimed.

However, property developers and colonisers, owning big chunks of land in Beermi village adjoining South City along Sidhwan Canal, have alleged that certain representatives of the Sahara group were showing their land as the tentative site for the project, which was misleading and far from truth.

Mr Balraj Bhasin, managing director of Dev Arjuna Promoters and Developers, and Mr Devinder Bhasin, managing director of Munish Promoters and Developers, claimed in a joint statement that the land being shown in the plans by the Sahara people belonged to them.

Meanwhile, inquiries from the headquarters and the local office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) revealed that the Sahara Group had not made any application so far to obtain the mandatory licence for the development of land and setting up of a residential colony.

Mr Suresh Kumar, Chief Administrator of PUDA told Ludhiana Tribune on telephone that till date the company had not contacted PUDA in this connection.

Asked whether offer being made for the flats and accepting earnest money was not in violation of the relevant law, he said in the newspaper ads, nothing specific was mentioned about the site or the booking. “We shall take suitable action if violation of relevant laws is brought to our notice or specific complaints are received.



Marginal increase in paddy arrival
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
A marginal increase in arrival of paddy has been observed in the local grain market and associated purchase centres. Around 9,06,000 quintals of paddy has since been received against 8,74200 quintals during the similar period last year. No stocks of Basmati have arrived in local and surrounding grain markets.

According to Mr Rahul Kumar, secretary, market committee, private purchases swelled upto 1,29,030 quintals this year, obvious reason being recently erected rice shellers. The state government purchased 4,00,800 quintals, while the FCI has procured only 44,210 quintals.

Mr Rahul Kumar said no stocks of Basmati have arrived in the market. He expected that some Basmati may arrive later from the areas surrounding Malerkotla as some farmers of that area had reportedly adopted contract farming in association with some South India-based companies.

Mr Sham Sunder, a local councillor and commission agent at nearby purchase centre, Ghaloti, said,” producers of Basmati prefer to take their produce to Rajpura or Ambala grain markets as no rice shellers in the local area process Basmati. Farmers here do not grow Basmati for economic reasons at it fetches less profit.


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