L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

IT Dept losing crores courtesy shady land deals
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The phenomenal boom in the real estate business does not mean much to the Income Tax Department. Because most of the mega deals running into crores of rupees are undervalued. This not only leads to huge losses to the state government but also to the Centre as the real estate dealers hardly pay any income tax.

Sources in the State Revenue Department revealed that during the past one year there had been transactions worth several thousand crores in Ludhiana district only. This was because of the phenomenal rise in the real estate prices. However, on revenue records these deals run into a few lakhs only. Interestingly, the Income Tax Department has not taken any note of the mushrooming growth of the real estate dealers, most of whom have made huge fortunes from the business.

Even the Punjab Urban Development Authority, which is the licensing authority for the real estate dealers, has failed to initiate any action. Most of the real estate dealers have been operating openly with offices spread over in every nook and corner of the city.

There are specific guidelines for registering a real estate dealer. But a random survey by the Tribune revealed that barring a handful of real estate dealers, most of them had no license, although they had well furnished airconditioned offices rivaling the corporate houses.

While the Revenue Department has a minimum price for registering the real estate deals, they hardly ever confirm the real price. There are examples where land costing a few crore rupees in shown as having been sold for a few lakhs only, thus leading to huge loss on account of stamp duty.

Usually the Income Tax Department through its own intelligence has been keeping track of the deals involving huge transactions. The boom in real estate business is an open secret. And still the department has not been able to crack its whip on any of the real estate dealers.

A revenue official pointed out it was too simple only if they (the income tax officials) were interested. Only a proper feedback from the state revenue officials could do wonders for the Income Tax Department.



Doctor’s negligence to be probed 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 30
Normalcy returned to the town following the intervention of some leaders of various communities after a hospital was attacked following allegations of death of two women due to doctor's negligence yesterday. Kin of Akbari and Rashda Parveen, who had died after operations were conducted on them by Dr V.P. Goel, had attacked the premises yesterday.

The police has booked Alaman, Kalia, Rahul, Sabri and Meena and some unidentified persons under Sections 332, 353, 186, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC for allegedly damaging property and interrupting the police in performing its duty.

Dr V.K. Kakkar, president of the Malerkotla branch of the IMA, meanwhile, told Ludhiana Tribune that the decision to extend the protest call to all branches of Sangrur had been stalled after an assurance by the Sangrur DC to conduct an inquiry before taking action.

“As the DC has assured us that Dr Goel would not be harassed, we stalled our decision. However, the local branch will continue to protest till further decision,” he said.

The team constituted by the DC to probe into the matter is still to decided the course of action as formal orders have not arrived yet.

According to Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, leaders of various organisations have played an active role in pacifying demonstrators. “Had they not intervened, the situation could have taken communal colour,” she claimed.

On the progress of the probe, she said a meeting of officials would be convened soon. “As members of the committee come from three departments, there are no chances of a biased decision,” she maintained. Meanwhile, the IMA, Malerkotla unit, struck work today.

Mohamad Akhtar and Mohamad Faruq, brothers of Akbari and Rashda, respectively, had alleged that their sisters had died due to the negligence of Dr Goel. Akbari was operated on June 10 and had died at the PGI.

According to Mohamad Akhtar, Akbari had been taken to the hospital run by Dr Goel in the first week of this month. When her condition worsened, she was referred to the DMC, Ludhiana, and later to the PGI where she died on June 14.

Mohamad Faruq alleged that Rashda had been shifted to Dr Goel's hospital after she complained of abdominal pain on June 7. Diagnosing the ailment as hernia, he had advised an operation that was conducted on June 20. On the worsening of her condition post- operation, she was shifted to the DMC, Ludhiana, where she died.



Dowry victim fights for life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Manpreet Kaur (24), a Bachelor in Technology, is struggling for life at the CMCH with 50 per cent burns even as her father is fighting to get her in-laws booked. She was allegedly burnt by her mother-in-law at Ghanga Kalan village in Ferozepore on June 19. Her in-laws allegedly did not inform her family. Her uncle got to know about the incident when he called her up.

“Earlier, we were told that she was in a local hospital and then she was shifted to Muktsar. It was only after the intervention of a police officer that we came to know that she was in Muktsar. From there we shifted her to the CMC,” he said.

She was conscious till yesterday but stopped speaking in the morning. Doctors attending to her said she was in shock and the infection was spreading in other parts of her body. Her condition was stated to be critical.

The SHO, Jalalabad, Mr Darshan Singh, said a DDR had been registered on the statement of the woman that she had got burnt accidentally but when her father complained that she was being pressured for dowry, DSP Jasbir Singh was asked to investigate the case.

Mr Darshan Singh, father of the victim, said she was sent to her in-laws house a month ago after the women's cell of Moga district had intervened. She had been staying with her father for about three months prior to going back.

He said he had married his daughter to Jaswinder Singh, a matriculate, in 2004. He had spent Rs 8 lakh on her marriage and given her a car “but this could not make them happy. The demands grew manifold and one day they sent our daughter back. The death of her mother also did not deter her in-laws from harassing her,” he alleged.



Health centre shifted as MC sleeps
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 30
The mini health centre (MHC) established in Jagraon since Independence has been transferred to Kaonke Kalan as the Municipal Council here wanted to get the unsafe building repaired.

Now, pregnant women and newly born children have now to visit Kaonke Kalan.

According to the information, the MHC was situated in Mohalla Khai Wali Gali in a building belonging to the Municipal Council for the past 60 years and used to provide medicines and vaccination to the pregnant women and newborns.

The council never carried any repairs and ultimately the building was declared unsafe. The repeated reminders from the Health Department to the Municipal Council to carry out repairs were to no avail.

Compelled, the Health Department had to pass an order for the shifting of this centre to Kaonke Kalan.



1 dies in road accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, June 30
A youth, Harinder Singh (15) died and another, Lakhvir Singh (15) was seriously injured during an accident near Hargana village on the Khanna-Sanghol road, near here.

According to information available, Harinder Singh, a resident of Jai Singh village, was at Hargana village with a relative and was going with Lakhvir Singh on a scooter No. PB-23A-9252, when they lost their control and collided with a tractor and later they collided head on with a truck (HR-24-6625) coming from opposite side resulting in serious injuries to both of them. They were immediately rushed to Civil Hospital, Bassi Pathana, where Harinder Singh was declared dead and the seriously injured Lakhvir Singh was referred to PGI Chandigarh. The police is investigating the matter.



Dr Mehar Singh dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Dr Mehar Singh, a well known medical practitioner of Mullanpur Dakha, died at Mullanpur on Tuesday. He was 91.
Born in 1915, Dr Mehar Singh served as doctor from 1942 to 1995 before relinquishing practice and settling down at Mullanpur. According to his son, Dr Bhupinder Singh, who himself is a leading surgeon running Sran Hosptal, the end was sudden after a minor cough. The cremation was largely attended. The bhog ceremony is scheduled for July 7.



Critically ill migrant awaits good Samaritans
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
The survival of Mohammed Ansari, a 25-year-old city resident, running a PCO in Jamalpur area, depends on the generosity of kind-hearted people of the region.
Brought to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here on June 8, he was diagnosed to with renal failure and tuberculosis.

He was admitted in ICU, where he stayed for two weeks, and was then shifted to a ward, where his condition again deteriorated. The doctors attending on him put the patient on ventilator support to save his life.

The hapless youth originally belongs to Bihar and had migrated to this city a couple of years back to earn his livelihood. His father is a tailor at his native place in Bihar and his income is insufficient even to support his other family members.

Husain, elder brother of Mohammed Ansari, working in a tailoring shop, also stays here. He says whatever meagre funds they could mobilise, had all gone towards the treatment of his younger brother. “At the moment, we do not have enough money for two square meals. A few good Samaritans and the CMCH authorities have been helping us so far,” he remarked with tears in his eyes.

The youth battling for life, now looks towards the financial assistance offered by philanthropists and NGOs who could save him from an imminent death due to multiple and fatal illness.

Those who wish to contribute for the treatment of Mohammed Ansari can contact Medical Superintendent’s Office at CMCH. All donations should be made in favour of Christian Medical College & Hospital with ‘Treatment for Mohammed Ansari’, written at the back side of the cheque or draft, or on the covering letter.



With poll coming, RSS hukamnama issue raises head
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (B) are trying to play down a hukamnama issued by the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, in 2004 against the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The issue assumes importance as the Akali-BJP alliance prepares for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.

The Akal Takht hukamnama had called for the boycott of the Sikh Sangat as it observed that it was interfering in the Sikh affairs.

Moreover, there was an opinion building up among a section of the Sikhs that the RSS was trying to operate through the Sikh Sangat which was perceived a threat to the separate Sikh identity.

While the RSS leaders have clarified several times that they (the RSS) have no intention of diluting the Sikh identity, there is a widely prevailing impression that the RSS holds Sikhs as a part of the Hindu religion.

The Akal Takht hukamnama implies that every Sikh should boycott the RSS, thus indirectly most of the BJP leaders.

Recently, during his visit to the state, the BJP general-secretary and the in charge of the party affairs for Punjab, Mr Arun Jaitely, reportedly raised the issue with the SAD-B supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal also.

Mr Jaitely is learnt to have urged Mr Badal to get the hukamnama reviewed.

The radical section among the Akalis has started raising the issue. In fact, one of the SGPC members, Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, raised the issue recently when the SAD-B objected to a former Akal Takht Jathedar, Prof Darshan Singh’s address from a Congress stage. 



Shiv Sena protests against rising prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The activists of the Shiv Sena yesterday staged a protest demonstration against the rising prices of essential commodities. They also burnt an effigy of the government. The activists gathered at the Durga Mata Temple and took out a procession. At the Mini Secretariat they submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

The protest was led by the Mr Neeraj Verma and Mr Ammar Takkar. They pointed out that the government had failed to check the rising prices of the essential commodities which had severely hit the common man. They said, with the continuously rising prices, the common man was finding it difficult to sustain.

They claimed that both the state and the Central Governments had promised that they would be providing relief to masses. But they had been crushed under the heavy burden of the continuously rising prices. They said, the government appeared to be indifferent towards this problem. 



BSNL staff stage dharna 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
In response to a call given by the central committee of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Employees Union, BSNL employees today staged a dharna and held a demonstration during lunch hour over the failure of the government to check increasing prices of essential commodities and petroleum products.

The protesting employees lambasted the government for arbitrary, uncalled for and unjustified disinvestment of NALCO, which was a profit-oriented public sector undertaking. Trade union leaders drubbed the Central Government for its failure on economic, social and fiscal fronts.

Prominent among speakers were Mr Balwinder Singh, district secretary of the union, Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary, Mr Balbir Singh, district president of the BSNLEU, Mr Mohinder Chaudhary, Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Hari Narain Singh and Mr Nikka Singh. 



New Rotary Club team takes over
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
The new team of the Rotary Club, headed by president Rtn R.S. Behal and secretary Rtn Sunil Bansal, took charge from Rtn Jatinder Chawla, former president of thee club, at a meeting held in Basant Resort here yesterday.

The new board of directors is: adviser — tn S.S. Johl; president elect (2007-8) — Rtn Jatinder Lamba; vice-president — Rtn Asha Emmanuel; secretary — Rtn Sunil Bansal; joint secretaries — Rtn Ranvir Vij and Rtn Amanjot Singh; treasurer — Rtn H.L. Goel; sargeant-at-arms — Rtn Gurjit Singh Bajaj; auditor — Rtn D.S. Sunder; and editor — Rtn Kuldip Singh.

Directors: club services — Rtn Jatinder Chawla; community services — Rtn Sohan Singh; rotary foundations — Rtn S.P. Singh Dua; vocational services — Rtn Sunil Gupta; international services — Rtn Ravinder Singhania; youth and services — Rtn V.S. Sachdeva; and special committees — Rtn Raj Kumar Behal.



Govt committed to development: MLA
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 30
The Punjab Government is committed to the development of cities as well as villages, said MLA Harbans Kaur Dullo here today, while talking to mediapersons at the PWD Rest House.

Praising Capt Amarinder Singh for his leadership and administrative ability, she said the development works were being carried out at a fast pace. The decision to abolish octroi had been hailed by all segments of trade and industry, she claimed.

She handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to sarpanch Sadhu Singh for the construction of toilets at Lalheri village.



Rehman is PPCC minority cell chairman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Mr Atiq-u-Rehman Ludhianavi has been appointed as the chairman of the minority cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC). Mr Rehman belongs to a family of freedom fighters who preferred to stay back in India even after the Partition when thousands of Muslims left for Pakistan.

Talking to reporters here today, Mr Rehman expressed his gratitude to the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for reposing faith in him. 



Give loans liberally to priority sectors, says admn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Mr Prayank Bharti, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), asked banks in the district to liberally extend loans so as to attain the target fixed of Rs 4,439 crore under the Annual Credit Plan (ACP) 2006-07 at a meeting organised to review the progress of the ACP here yesterday.

The annual credit plan target this year is 15 per cent higher than the last financial year. Addressing the meeting, Mr Bharti said the ACP of the Ludhiana district was the largest in the country and it had been prepared keeping in view the Potential Linked Plan made by Nabard and the lead bank office in accordance with government’s guidelines.

Elaborating on the targets for different sectors, he said a major share, that is, Rs 3,614 crore, which is 81 per cent of the total, was earmarked for priority sector. If this, Rs 1,628 crore would be extended to agricultural sector, Rs 1,176 crore to small-scale industries and Rs 810 crore to other priority sector.

Giving details about other sectors, Mr Bharti said loans amounting to Rs 825 crore would be given to non-priority sector and Rs 18 crore would be extended to weaker sections. Provision for loans has been substantially for all sectors,” he said.

Mr Jeet Singh, deputy general manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, which is the lead bank, said banks had been allotted targets on the basis of potential of the 12 blocks in the district. Special care has been given to weaker sections of the society, priority segments and women, he added.

Mr S.P.Dudeja, AGM, Reserve bank of India (RBI), Mr Harmesh Kumar, district manager, Nabard and Mr Gurmit Singh, manager, Punjab and Sind Bank also attended the meeting.



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