L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Re-laying of road violates code, say residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
Laying pre-mix carpet on a part of the road leading to a shawl factory in Bhaura Colony here has sparked a controversy, with a section of residents charging the civic body with violation of the code of conduct. The municipal administration has claimed that the work has been carried out as a part of the ongoing road project in the area.

The Union Minister for Information Technology and Disinvestment, during his visit to the city on Wednesday in connection with the election campaign of the BJP, met mediapersons at a factory near the Jalandhar bypass, with the road linking the unit to the national highway having been freshly surfaced. Many other adjoining roads in the same colony were yet to have a fresh top coat.

While several residents of the area and owners of other factories in the locality maintained that the road had been relaid in a hasty manner, which was a clear violation of the model code of conduct of the municipal corporation officials refuted the charge, saying the road project in the area had been taken in hand and work order was given before the code came into force.

The Superintending Engineer (Civil) of the civic body, Mr Ashok Kumar, told Ludhiana Tribune that during last six months, the civic body had undertaken 480 works relating to resurfacing of roads, out of which 155 had been completed and 250 were in progress. Some other works for the improvement of roads which had not commenced when the code of conduct was enforced, even after work orders had been issued, had been put on the hold keeping with the directions of the Election Commission, said.



People’s help saves child
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
Kamaljit, 10, who was successfully operated upon for a hole in the heart in the Sigma Newlife hospital here, was discharged today.
A resident of Shimlapuri, Kamaljit, had to undergo surgery. Kamaljit’s father, a chronic TB patient, could not do any work and Jagjit Kaur stitched clothes and earned enough to save the family from starvation.

Kamaljit’s treatment costed around Rs 3 lakhs. The hospital authorities had already waived the operation charges. A sum of Rs 1 lakh for the post-treatment care was received from well meaning people following an appeal in Ludhiana Tribune.

Dr Bedi, the cardiac surgeon expressed his happiness over the fast recovery of Kamaljit. He said that Kamaljit would lead normal life and he was so fit that he could join the armed forces (Kamaljit’s dream).

“There was an overwhelming response from the donors. The people called from places like Canada. He will be looked after by the hospital’s post-operative care unit for an year free of cost”, claimed Dr Harinder Singh Bedi.



Bet area ignored, says Sharanjit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
The government has totally ignored the bet area, which unlike other places, has specific problems. The villagers are feeling ignored and feel that they are being discriminated against other parts of the state.

This was stated by SAD-BJP candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon during his visit to villages along the Sutlej and around the historic town of Machhiwara. The villagers complained that their problems were not being redressed. He was told that the government has been pursuing the policies of vendetta ignoring developmental activities.

Addressing them, Mr Dhillon said the government has done nothing for the welfare of the common man. It has only ordered transfer of police officers and implicated rival party leaders in fabricated cases. Problems such as non-functioning schools due to absentee teachers, negligible rural basic health infrastructure, potholed link roads and erratic mini bus service and poor sewerage. The purchasing power of the poor has gone down because all the welfare schemes for them started by the Akali-BJP government have been scrapped by the Congress government, he added.

Accompanied by the area MLA, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, he started his campaign from Hyatpur village and met villagers at Gurugarh, Rajgarh, Adiana, Ranva Punia, Jalhamajra, palmajra, Bharthala, Balion, Harion Kalan and Khurd, Tapprian, Mushkabad and Khirma. He was weighed against coins and ladoos. Many panchayats also offered election funds.



Man gets 1-year RI in cheque bounce case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
The Judicial Magistrate, Mr Jasbir Singh, has sentenced Tarlok Singh of Arjan Nagar to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year in a cheque bounce case. A fine of Rs 1,000 has also been imposed upon him. The accused had issued a cheque to his brother, but it was dishonoured.

A complaint had been filed by Hardev Singh, saying that Tarlok owed him over Rs 3, lakh and in order to discharge his liability, he issued him a cheque in favour of his firm.

When the cheque was presented for realisation, it was returned with the remarks “exceeds arrangements”. A legal notice was served upon him but he failed to make the payment.

Defence counsel said the complaint was not maintainable as the notice was sent after the lapse of 15 days from the date of receipt of intimation from the bank. Also the notice was sent at the wrong address.

The judge held that the address mentioned by the accused in his surety bounds furnished before the court at the time of getting bail was the same as mentioned in the notice.

Lawyers submit memorandum: The Organisation of Young Lawyers today submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, seeking the allotment of more land for the construction of chambers for lawyers. They also demanded the shifting of the District Consumer Forum in the new judicial complex.

Mr Rana Harjasdeep Singh, Chairman of the organisation, said there were only 547 chambers in the new courts complex and 300 lawyers still had no chambers.



Meeting on poll arrangements
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
To ensure that the Lok Sabha elections are conducted in a free and fair manner, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of district election officer-cum- Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma here today.

He directed all assistant returning officers of all Assembly constituencies in the district and senior police officers to ensure the compliance of the model code of conduct. He added that strict disciplinary action would be taken against erring officers in this regard.

Mr Verma said there were 12 Assembly constituencies in Ludhiana district, in which the total number of voters was 19,42,987, out of which 10,25,133 were male voters and 9,17,854 are female voters.

He said nine assembly constituencies — Jagraon, Dakha, Kila Raipur, Ludhiana North, Ludhiana West, Ludhiana East, Ludhiana Rural, Payal and Koomkalan — fell in the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency and there were total number of 15,58,980 voters in this constituency, of which male voters were 8,24,340 and female voters were 7,34,640.

He said two Assembly constituencies — Samrala and Khanna were part of Ropar Lok Sabha parliamentary constituency and one Assembly constituency, Raikot, was in the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency.

The district election officer said 1,845 polling stations had been set up in the district and all polling stations had been inspected by assistant returning officers and senior police officers.

He further said as per the guidelines of the Election Commission, votes would be cast through electronic voting machines and there were 2,589 EVMs available in the district in good working condition.

He said the assistant returing officers had checked these EVMs and they had been given training regarding the use of these machines. He said all counting centres in the district had been inspected to ensure that the counting of votes was made in a peaceful manner.

Mr Verma asked the police officers to identify sensitive and most sensitive polling stations in their areas so that proper law and orders arrangements could be made there.

Mr Sumer Singh Gurjer, ADC (D), Mr Ajmer Singh, ADC (General), Dr Jaswant Singh, additional district election officer, Mr Pramod Ban, SSP, Khanna, Mr Jarnail Singh, SP, Jagraon, and R.K. Jaiswal, SP (II), Ludhiana, along with all assistant returning officers of Assembly, constituencies participated in the meeting.



Staff demand probe into SBI promotions
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
Alleging favouritism, nepotism and misuse of power in the promotion of clerical staff to officer cadre (scale-I) in the State Bank of India (SBI), the Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) has called for a CBI inquiry into the scandal.

In a press note issued here today, INBEC president K.R. Tripathi charged that senior officers of the bank had intervened in the process of promotion to accommodate some of their favourites at the cost of other deserving candidates. The INBEC had submitted representations to the Union Finance Minister, the Chairman of Indian Banks Association, the Chairman of the SBI and the Director of the CBI, calling for the cancellation of results for 71 posts of the officer cadre for 2003-2004. Twenty of the selected candidates were posted at zonal offices and the head office at Chandigarh and had close links with senior officers.

Mr Tripathi took strong exception to the so-called seniority channel adopted by the SBI management, under which 15 per cent of the posts available for promotion were allocated to the employees between the age group of 45 and 50 years, allowing two years’ relaxation to those exceeding the age of 50 years. “It is not only ridiculous, but also illegal, arbitrary and irrational, that seniority in such cases, is determined not on the basis of period of service, but according to age,” he said.

The INBEC chief observed that in all other nationalised banks, promotions were granted under the seniority channel on the basis of duration of service and a seniority list was maintained for the employees who had completed a stipulated period of service. However, the SBI management at Chandigarh had not adopted the standard criteria of seniority of service with malafide intentions and ulterior motives in order to grant favours to some select persons.

He further asserted that the process of selection for promotion on seniority basis was loaded against the employees, with 65 marks vesting with the interview board, comprising nominees of the management, 15 marks for performance appraisal and 20 marks for the period of service, with one mark for each year of completed service. The criteria fixed by the management was in violation of the directions of the Supreme Court, which had ruled that the marks to be granted by the interview board should not exceed 15 per cent of the total marks.

Lambasting the SBI management for rigging the promotions on seniority basis, Mr Tripathi pointed out that 2,200 candidates were called in for 10 posts of officer scale-I under seniority channel, where the pick-and-choose policy had formed the basis of selection. “The management had finalised the names of the persons to be promoted under seniority channel, evident from the fact that four out of the 10 promotees were from zonal offices at Shimla and Jammu and the head office at Chandigarh.”



Parcels blocking way on platforms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Parcels stacked at railway platforms here have been creating nuisance and inconvenience to passengers. At the Ludhiana railway station, where 106 trains stop daily, the problem seems to be the worst, particularly on platform one, from where most down -trains pass. It becomes difficult to walk as passengers have to negotiate the parcels and find way towards the train. The railway staff seem to be acting as mute spectators. Since most of the passengers are in hurry, nobody is able to complaint against the same.

The authorities have been informed and they have issued guidelines in this direction. Mr V.P. Singh, Senior Commercial Divisional Manager, Northern Railways, in a communication to the station superintendent, has observed, “Accumulation of parcels on platforms at the railway stations is causing inconvenience to passengers in their free and safe movement”. He has said it has been decided by the railway board to rationalise the booking and carriage of parcels.

He has also said it has been decided to restrict the booking and carriage of parcels involving unloading and reloading of parcels during transit. The booking and carriage of parcels by all passenger trains will be permitted only for those stations where the particular train terminates. Booking of parcels to and from intermediate stations by a particular train will be permitted on mail trains provided the train stops for five minutes or more at that station. 



Chicken back at low price
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
As the bird flu scare is over, chicken delicacies have started finding their place back on the dinning tables. Some restaurants have even hiked the prices of various delicacies following a rise in demand.
A broiler is being sold for anything between Rs 75 to Rs 90 in and cooked chicken between Rs 100 to Rs 170. Eggs cost Rs 20 a dozen.

According to Mr Sanjiv Bassi, a poultry farmer, the troubles of farmers were far from over. He said that the glut created in the ‘‘no-demand period’’ was playing havoc with their lives.

He also said that broilers were becoming oversize in their poultries but the rate was not going up.

He said that eggs were being sold for Rs 85 to Rs 86 per hundred. The price had risen from Rs 72 to Rs 85. Eggs were sold at Rs 132 per hundred before the bird flu scare.

The wholesale rate of broilers was Rs 18 per kg for a heavy broiler and for light broiler Rs 28 per kg. Poultry farmers said that they were bound to suffer losses as the retailers were not willing to pay more.

KHANNA (OC): A meeting of officials of the Payal subdivision was held at Malaud under the chairmanship of SDM Jatinder Singh on Thursday. According to a press note. The SDM informed the officials about the use of electronic voting machines. He warned the officials against any negligence in duty during elections.



Love basis of all religions, says theologian
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
Mr Alexander Masovianus, a visiting Professor of Punjabi University who was here to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of GGN Khalsa College, said that spiritually, all religions were the same.

Mr Alexander, who is a theologian and has been conducting research in ethics in comparative religions and culture, said, “My focus of studies is on the concept of love in comparative religion and culture. I am studying major religions like Christianity, Islam Hinduism and Buddhism,”.

“Love encompasses all religions. Most people on the streets follow religion for group management. They do not follow religion for personal engagement with the divine on the level of the heart. They use it for group membership. People do not progress with such kind of religion,” he said.

“When one leaves the elementary level and reaches the higher levels, does religion become irrelevant. It ceases to exist as one reaches the higher spiritual plane where all religions follow a language that could be of any religion,” he added.

He said he had visited Kyoto, Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan and India to collect material for his book titled “Love and the Human: Comparison of Religions and Cultures”.

“When I talk to scholars and learned people, I find they are willing to listen and even change their ideas. However, people outside universities are generally more dogmatic but the divisions are not absolute. Love is found in the ethics of all religions at the higher plane,” he said.



At The Crossroads
Poet of love, peace and friendship

When a person embarks on the path of creative writing, he has no idea of his destination. He never makes a choice at any stage but is prompted to go ahead by the urge in him to express himself. A time comes when he looks back and takes stock of things. He is sometimes pleasantly surprised to see the corpus of his writings. At that time he wants to put the things in proper order for posterity.

It is true that the response of the readers in the days to come is uncertain but the creative writer always hopes for the best.

Kulwant Jagraon, the well-known Punjabi poet, has recently published three volumes of his poems, ghazals and geets. All of his poems are contained in ‘Chetna di mishaal’, his ghazals have found their abode in ‘Harfaan de sheeshe’ and his love songs reverberate in ‘Mohabbat di khushbu’. Essentially, he is a lyrical poet, in love with rhyme and rhythm. Like the Keats in Nightingale’, he wants to pour his soul into poetic creation in ecstasy. He never seeks applause as he is in a hurry to move from one object of beauty to another in gay abandon.

He was born at Maschak village in Sheikhupura (Pakistan) in 1939. He shifted to Jagraon along with his parents after partition. He is M.A. in English and honours in Punjabi. He retired some years ago from his school service as lecturer in English. His wife Mohinder Kaur (Kochhar) had also been in school service for long years and, like comrades-in-arms, has always been a source of inspiration to him.

He believes that the impact of art lies in truth and its vivid depiction. He takes recourse to images as images are carriers of the concept. Besides, it is imagery that makes a work of art artistic. There was an important phase in Kulwant Jagraon’s life when he was under the influence of progressive writers. He wanted to change the scheme of things so as to usher in a better tomorrow. The big hiatus between the haves and the have-nots was an irritant to his thoughtful mind. He searched for the silver lining in the dark clouds that surrounded the lives of the common people. In his poem Nirna (Justice), he says:—

Admitted, there is a dark storm raging outside

and the season is all the more cruel.

But nothing will be gained in any form

by remaining cooped up inside.

In his ghazals, he bemoans separation from his beloved and longs for the day when she will reciprocate his love in full measure.

At present he is restless like mercury and his tears are like dewdrops. It is difficult for him to conceal from others the pangs of his heart. He knows that no one will care to visit him, still he keeps the doors of his eyes open. This longing is not always personal as he wants her to join him in his crusade against poverty, ignorance and hypocrisy:—

Let’s remove thorns from our paths

let’s decorate the earth with flowers

No one would go astray at any stage

if his hunger is appeased without delay.

Kulwant Jagraon is known for his message of love, peace and friendship across the world. He ridicules the attempts to strengthen the barricades, when the wall of Berlin has been dismantled after so many years.

He knows that the countries have been demarcated in bold lines on the maps but the hearts need not entertain deep furrows of hatred on their surface. He is jubilant that there has recently been some thaw in the icy relationships between India and Pakistan.

N.S. Tasneem



Migrants could disturb social fibre, says assn
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
The Ludhiana Welfare Association has expressed its concern over the increase in the migrant population here and other towns of Punjab with the apprehension that if not checked, it could disturb the social fibre.

Addressing a meeting, association president Manjit Singh Matharoo said the political parties, were silent on such a crucial matter. On the contrary, with an eye on the vote bank, the parties were creating conditions that could disturb the balance of population in Punjab. Saying that anyone could seek employment anywhere in the country, he asserted that at the same time, the rights of the local population had to be safeguarded. “With the increase in the number of migrants, it is becoming more difficult for the locals to get employment,” he said.

He said the government should frame a comprehensive policy which would allow access to the migrants only on the basis of the availability of jobs. It should also be made mandatory for the migrant workers to bring security clearance from their respective states along with them so that the entry of undesirable elements into the state could be checked, he added.



Readers write
Stop cops from harassing people

I had applied for a passport and the papers were sent from the SSP’s office to Basti Jodhewal police station for verification vide no. 11109-ssp dated 15.11.2003. These documents were entered at No. 1561 in PS Basti Jodhewal register.

A constable, Mr Jagdish, from the police station came to my home and recorded my statement but demanded a bribe of Rs 500 for completing and sending the documents. I told him that I am a student and I cannot afford to give him the bribe.

Today, after three-and-a- half months, I went to the police station to inquire and was told by the munshi that the documents have been sent to SSP’s office. Thereafter, I went to theer but was shocked to know that the documents were still pending with the police station.

Would senior officers take action in this context and direct their subordinates to stop harassing the people? It will do a lot of good for the sagging image of the police force.

Rohit Dhir

DA/DR merger

The Central Government employees and pensioners hail the merger of DA/DR with their basic pay/pension w.e.f. 1.4.2004. The Union Finance Ministry vide its order no. 105/1/2004-IC, dated 1.3.2004 has issued the notification to this effect.

According to the notification, merged DA/DR to be treated as dearness pay/dearness pension, will be counted for various allowances and retirement benefits. It further says that the employees retiring during the period from April 1, 2004, to January 31, 2005, will be given the benefit of 50 per cent DA drawn by them prior to April 1, 2004, as basic pay for computation of pension which is based on the average emoluments of the last 10 months in service.

Yash Paul Ghai

The media must educate voters

The Election Commission has announced elections to the 14th Lok Sabha. The political parties and their leaders have started a campaign by organising big rallies/rath yatras’/road shows with catchy slogans and are making tall claims to woo the votes.

More than 50 per cent of the Indian population is illiterate and those who are said to be literate more or less are not aware about their rights and responsibilities. Mostly the people cast their franchise on the bases of caste, creed and religion and on sectarian issues without going into the background of the candidate and ideology of the party concerned.

Further, contesting an election in India is a very costly affair and a minimum of Rs 2-3 crore is required for contesting a Lok Sabha seat and more than Rs 50-60 lakh for an assembly constituency. Thus, the honest and right-minded people do not have the capability of contesting election due to financial constraints.

On the contrary the people having money and muscle power and with dubious character enter politics, contest and win elections. How can we expect good governance from them? Democracy is successful where people are educated and alert about their rights and responsibilities. The situation in our country is quite contrary to it.

Kartar Singh Ghai

Medical bill not paid

I retired as JE from Construction Division, PWD (B&R), Barnala, My PPD. is 89930/Pl. Sanction for reimbursement of medical bill of my wife Sunita Rani for her indoor treatment in CMC Hospital, Ludhiana is still awaited from Director, Health and Family Welfare, Chandigarh. The medical bill for Rs 22,081 was sent by the Sangrur Division no. 4006, dated 9.10.2003.

Will the department do the needful at the earliest.

Piara Lal Kaura

NDA government

The democratic set-up every government is to do some betterment for the public. The NDA Government headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee has made slight improvement internationally. At home it is failing in every sphere.

India is a big country with 20 per cent of the world population, it must have a say in the world affairs. Even tiny countries are making their presence felt in the world forum.

During the past seven years, the NDA government has failed to make education and medicine free for its citizens. The NDA Government has also failed to check the rise in the prices of essential commodities.

Sher Singh



Three satta operators held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
Three satta operators, including Chaman Lal, alias Cheema, an alleged don of satta operators of the city who operates from the Cheema chowk, were arrested by the police and booked under the Gambling Act yesterday.

The police said Cheema was arrested from near the Manju cinema. It said Rs 4,400 was seized form his possession this morning. However, he was later given bail, it added.

Pawan Kumar, a resident of Jawahar Nagar camp, was arrested and booked under the Gambling Act for indulging in booking of satta and darra bets near the water tank in the area.

Meanwhile, the Model Town police arrested Parkash, alias Omi, a resident of Azad Nagar on the Dhuri lines, and booked him under the Gambling Act. The police said Rs 340 was recovered from him. The accused was allegedly booking satta and darra bets under the flyover bridge in the area. He was, however, later granted bail.

Poppy husk seized: The Focal Point police arrested Gurbachan Singh , a resident of Dakha village, from near the T-point at Moti Nagar, and seized 28.5 kg of poppy husk from his possession last evening. He was booked under the NDPS Act.

Killed: Ravinder Singh was killed when his scooter was hit by a truck near Partap chowk yesterday. A case has been registered on a complaint by a relative of Ravinder, Mr kamaljit Singh, a resident of Sanet village.

4 assault cases: Cases of assault were registered against eight persons in four different incidents.

Jatinder Singh, a resident of Dhariwal Patti village near Sudhar, was booked under Section 324 of the IPC on a complaint by Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of friends Colony in Model Gram. The complainant had alleged that Jatinder came to his shop situated near Ludhiana railway station to buy clothes last evening. He, however, attacked Rajesh with a knife and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.

Lalli, a resident of the green Park area near Prince Hostel, was booked under various sections of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act on the complaint by Mr Raj Kumar Kuthari, a resident of Sant Isher Singh Nagar. The complainant had alleged that Lalli forced his way into his house, beat him up and also threatened to kill him with a revolver on Tuesday night. No arrest has been made so far.

Inder Pal, who lives near the Samrala chowk, Aslam, a resident of Phillaur town, Amamu Mohammad and Bag Rati of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar near the Samrala chowk, were booked for beating up Mr Resham Singh, a resident of Patal Khurd village, near Samrala chowk last evening. The attackers also allegedly tried to snatch his bag containing cash. The police said this morning that the accused had been arrested.

Ranjit Singh and his mother Sukhpal Kaur, residents of Basant Nagar, were booked for assaulting Mr Dyal Singh, a resident of the same locality, yesterday. Mr Dayal Singh had alleged in his complaint that the accused intercepted him in street No. 12 of the locality yesterday and beat him up. No arrest has been made so far.



Zipper brand to be launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
The Managing Director of Ansun Multitech India Ltd, Mr Sunil Monga, today said they had joined hands with East Dragon Zippers, one of the largest ISO-9002 certified manufacturers and exporters of zippers from Taiwan, to provide world class zippers under the brand name of Ansun YCC Zippers.

He was here to participate in the forth coming “Knit-Vision 2004” here from March 19.

He said the recent study of Ludhiana market had revealed a big gap in the demand and supply of high quality zippers. 



WLL introduced in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Mr G.M. Julfa, General Manager (Telephones), Ludhiana inaugurated the wireless in local loop (WLL) system here.
He congratulated the DGM, Dinesh Garg, DTO and SDO along with the Telecom staff as the system was the first to be introduced at Jagraon in Punjab. He said about 1,000 connections would be given under the system, especially in the areas where telephone lines had not yet been installed.

He said this service would be implemented in Ludhiana district within 2 months. At present, 650 connections in Jagraon were pending and these would be released at the earliest. The SDM service would be introduced before March 31, he said.



LG may hike AC prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
LG Electronics is likely to raise the prices of air-conditioners (ACs) by about 5 per cent. Stating this here yesterday, the Managing Director of LG Electronics India, Mr Kwang Ro Kim, said it was being done due to the increase in the prices of steel and copper.

He was here to launch the latest range of GSM mobile handsets. The average price of a 1.5 tonne window AC is currently Rs 18,000 but might go up to Rs 20,000. He did not say when the prices would be increased.

Mr Kim said the LGE was the fifth largest mobile-maker in the world. The latest range of handsets launched here today would be imported from Korea. The price of the handsets ranges from Rs 5,990 to Rs 25,990.



Petroleum consumers’ meeting on March 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma has asked the city residents to highlight their problems regarding petrol, diesel and LPG supplies at a meeting of LPG dealers and managers of petroleum companies scheduled for March 25 at 10.30 a.m. at Mini Secretariat here. The administration would also take up cases of under weight LPG cylinders with the petroleum companies.
Mr Verma said complaints of the consumers would be referred to the authorities concerned.


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