L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Fake licence racket busted, imposter held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
The local police today claimed to have busted a gang of conmen who were running a parallel District Transport Office, Ludhiana, by preparing fake driving licences and duping innocent people.

The Haibowal police has arrested the person posing as the District Transport Officer (DTO) and his accomplice. A computer and other office equipment were also seized from their possession.

Addressing the media here today, DSP-City-II Simrat Pal Singh Dhindsa and SHO, Haibowal, Devinder Kumar, said the arrested persons included the fake DTO Pritpal Singh alias Sunny, a resident of Chowni Mohalla, and his accomplice Yaswinder Singh, a resident of Ranjodh Park in the city.

Mr Dhindsa said the police received a secret information that both Pritpal Singh and Yashwinder Singh used to prepare fake driving licences using their computer, thus, duping innocent people.

The police had got information that the duo was coming to the city to hand over fake driving licences to their prospective victims.

DSP Dhindsa said after receiving this information, the Haibowal police arrested them from a naka near Partap Singh Wala chowk.

When the police stopped and searched them, a fake driving licence in the name of one Anil Kumar, a resident of Model Town, was recovered from them. Interestingly, all these licences bore fake signatures of the DTO.

The DSP said two fake driving licences were recovered from Pritpal Singh. When questioned, Pritpal Singh confessed that he used to prepare fake driving licences with the help of his computer.

The police seized the computers and other equipment from the shop of Pritpal Singh located opposite gate number 3 of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU).

DSP Dhindsa said Pritpal Singh used to charge Rs 600 from the people who wanted to get their driving licences made.

He said further investigations were on in this case to ascertain how many fake driving licences had been made by them. 



Electric vehicles poised for growth
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Environment-friendly and low-cost maintenance electric bikes have a high potential of acceptance in the region, says AC Nielsen ORG MARG's study, estimating a potential sale of over 9 lakh units of these bikes.

“Presently, there are a few key players in this industry most of whom are planning expansion,” says the study that was sponsored by UK-based motor technology company Ultra Motor.

Over 2,000 interviews were conducted across 10 cities. These 10 cities were selected out of 70 towns with more than 5 lakh population with high two-wheeler per centage to represent similar strata of towns in each region.

The results portrayed that market potential for electric vehicles (EVs) in all these towns was above 9 lakh units, assuming the category reached an awareness level of 25 per cent in the second year.

Specific to the top 15 towns, the potential was close to 5 lakh units, assuming the category reached an awareness level of 25 per cent in the second year, the study said.

The groups that were studied included teenagers, youth and working class in A and B economic categories of current users or those planning a purchase.

Divided in four zones, it included Jalandhar, Lucknow, Delhi ,Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Dhanbad, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Aurangabad.

Over 62 per cent respondents had a positive reaction for eBikes, 88 per cent for eBike Plus, 65 per cent for eScooters and 79 per cent for high-speed eScooters.

In terms of the benefits and ability to satisfy their needs from a two-wheeler, more than 70 per cent favoured eBike, eBike Plus and eScooters..

As for purchase intention, around 30 per cent were willing to purchase an eBike.

For eBike Plus, females gave an encouraging response, with over 80 per cent showing likeability for the product and 25 per cent intending to buy the product, followed by adult commuter segment. Here too, over 25 per cent said they were willing to buy the product.

The high-speed eScooter generated maximum excitement among the consumers with over 85 per cent showing liking for the product and agreed that it would meet their needs and around 30 per cent showing willingness to purchase the product.

The study said the challenge laid in generating awareness and translating acceptance to purchase. An important aspect in the two-wheeler industry like availability and quality of service/spares would also play a critical role in sustaining the category.



Migrant labourer murdered, 2 booked
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 14
Dispute over matrimonial issue of a relative allegedly led to the cold- blooded murder of a migrant labourer, of nearby Shahpur village, by his friend and a contract killer on Monday.

The Sudhar police has registered an FIR under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC against the accused after body of the deceased, fished out from a rivulet by the police on Wednesday, was identified by his son. No arrest has yet been made.

According to sources at the Sudhar police station, Sushil Mukhia and Bahadur Sada, migrants from Bihar and now resident of Jhuggi Colony, Sarabha village, had been booked for allegedly murdering Jagat Narayan (45), a migrant labourer, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances from liquor vend near Dango village on Monday night.

The accused, who were still at large, could have gone scotfree had the Sudhar police not made a public announcement about recovery of the body from rivulet.

Sanjay Mukhia, a resident of Shahpur, on hearing about the recovery of the body, approached the police and identified it as that of his father.

Marks of injuries on the body suggested that the deceased had been done to death with some crude weapon like a brick.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Jagat Narayan, who was a drunkard, was last seen with Sushil Mukhia at Dango liquor vend on July 10.

“When I was returning to my home on Monday evening I saw my father sitting with Sushil Mukhia near Dango vend.

“When I asked him to accompany me to home, Sushil insisted that he would leave my father after some time and I should go alone,” told Sanjay to the police.

But Jagat Narayan did not return after that and Sushil Mukhia and Bahadur Sada absconded the next day.

Investigations further revealed that Sushil Mukhia had a grudge against Jagat Narayan and wanted to settle score with him.

Jagat Narayan, who had been living at Shahpur for about 25 years, had taken up farming on rented land and lived a dignified life.

Sushil Mukhia, who had earlier mediated matrimonial talks of Sanjay, had recently played an active role in the marriage of Basant, a relatives of Jagat Narayan. Basant has also been brought up by Jagat Narayan.

“It was after this marriage that Sushil started feeling offended and started having grudge against my father and ultimately eliminated him,” said Sanjay before the police.

It was yet to be established whether the accused snatched any money from the deceased before killing him.

As marks of deep and wide injuries were seen on the forehead of the deceased, the police suspected that the accused had attacked him with some blunt weapon like a brick.

Mr Jangjit Singh, SHO, Sudhar, said he has sent teams led by Jaswant Singh, ASI, and Nachhatar Singh in search of accused.



Raising voice against dowry cost him dear
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Raising a voice against the evil of dowry cost a local retired professor so dear that he was allegedly falsely implicated in two cases, including kabootarbaazi and atrocities on SCs and STs. Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, a retired professor of English, had allegedly refused to accede to the dowry demands of a lawyer, who was engaged to his daughter and had got him booked in a dowry case also.

Soon after registration of a dowry case, which was registered against Mr Manjeet Singh, a lawyer following the intervention of Punjab Women’s Commission, the harassment of Prof Sodhi started.

Prof Sodhi was booked in a kabootarbazi case by Guru Harsahai police, following a complaint that this senior citizen had fired at the complainant, Harmaljit Singh, at night some days ago.

The complainant further alleged that Prof Sodhi had promised him to send him to Manila after accepting money from him. But he had failed to do so. When the complainant demanded his money back, the retired professor went to Guru Harsahai at 9 p.m. and fired shots at him. Some splinters of bullets allegedly entered his body and injured him.

In yet another case, Prof Sodhi was booked by the Gidderbaha police for calling Gurmel Singh names banned under the SC/ST Act.

While all this was happening and his family members were passing through a difficult phase owing to engagement of their daughter going sour, Prof Sodhi’s wife died of acute depression. She was shifted to DMC also but her condition did not improve and she breathed her last there.

“Now when we are yet to overcome the traumas of our life, our father is being booked in different cases one after the other. He is summoned by the police from one corner of the state to another. We do not want to lose our father also. We have already suffered a lot on account of this relationship,” said his daughter, who had knocked at the Women Commission’s door to get her former fiancee booked for dowry.

“I have never seen these two complainants. I do not know how they have levelled such charges against me. It is sheer harassment.” said Prof Sodhi.

He had organised engagement ceremony of his daughter with Manjit Singh on April 9 last at a local hotel and marriage was fixed for November 13 last year. But it could not be solemnised as the groom’s family started demanding a Skoda car, cash of Rs 5 lakh besides asking for organising the ceremony in a five star hotel and serving Scotch to guests on the eve of the marriage.

“Earlier they had said that they did not want anything except my daughter. Later they reversed their stand. I requested the groom’s side to be reasonable as I am a retired professor and a father of three daughters and cannot spend this much amount. But they remained adamant and threatened to walk out of the agreement and arrange the marriage of their son elsewhere. Soon they got Manjit Singh engaged to another girl in Chandigarh,’’ he added.



Intoxicants seized from shops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
In the course of its ongoing crackdown to curb the menace of drug addiction, a team of health department staff, led by District Drug Inspector Mr Sanjeev Garg, conducted raids on a number of chemist shops in different parts of the city which yielded a big haul of intoxicating tables and capsules, cough syrups and injections.

According to the Civil Surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma, the seizures from two chemist shops in Bhaura Colony near Jalandhar bypass included 760 tablets, 783 capsules, 73 vials of injections of intoxicating substances and 27 bottles of cough mixtures. The owners of the chemist shops failed to produce sale and purchase documents and other record, which was to be maintained under the relevant provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

He said the state drug control authorities had been intimated about search and seizure operation with a recommendation of cancellation of licenses of these chemist shops. The stock of seized medicines would be produced in a court here tomorrow for launching proceedings against the defaulting chemists.

Dr Sharma said that the officials had carried out inspection at three more shops in Sahnewal and Tibba Road in the city where stock of medicines and documents were found in order.



Tangri gets bail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
Former President of Shiv Sena Rashtarwadi Jagdish Tangri and his son Sunil Tangri were today granted bail in an attempt to murder case.
Mr A.K. Mehta, Additional Sessions Judge, pronounced the order for granting bail to the accused. The judge ordered the release of the duo after furnishing surety bonds of Rs 25,000 each.

After getting the bail orders, the counsel for the accused furnished surety bonds in the court of Judicial Magistrate, Ms Manjinder Kaur, and thereafter the judge ordered the Jail Superintendent to release father and son.

The duo were booked under Sections 307, 379, 354, 148 and 149 of the IPC at Division No: 3 police station on July 8, 2006, on the charges of attempting to kill Sunita, wife of president of Shiv Sena Hindustani Pawan Sharma.



Poor drainage taking its toll on city roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Poor drainage system leading to accumulation of water has taken its toll on the road passing under Damoria bridge here. Just a few centimeters of rain experienced by the city over the past few days caused water logging due to poor drainage. Due to flooding and subsequent movement of vehicles, craters were formed on many busy roads in city.

Incidentally, the Damoria bridge road was recarpeted just a few months ago and it could have lasted for around two years had the water not accumulated on this road.

Being a very busy stretch, hundreds of vehicles including heavy ones pass through this road everyday. The water-logged road gets damaged easily due to traffic.

Residents living in nearby areas said that they do not know how long would it take now to repair it. “This road is always a cause of problems. Just an hour of rain leads to flooding and it becomes very difficult to pass from here. Now with the formation of potholes it would be a long haul to our destinations,” said Mr Chand Lal, a resident of Nali Mohalla.

The showers being experienced in the city for the past few days caused water logging on many roads leading to the loss of top layer of bitumen.

Residents of other parts also complained of formation of puddles on low-lying areas following rain. They said mosquitoes were breeding in these pools.

There was no check on breeding of these insects as no fumigation was being taken up by the authorities. 



Pace of development stepped up in urban areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar has asserted that the Congress government had stepped up the pace of urban development in urban areas and funds amounting to more than Rs 5,000 crore were being spent to provide excellent infrastructure facilities, including roads, lights, sewerage, water supply etc. and had set up a special Municipal Development Fund of Rs 990 crore to ensure the supply of 100 per cent sewerage and water supply in all 127 cities and towns of the state.

He was addressing a well attended function at Janakpuri here on Monday after launching a project of storm sewerage to be laid at a cost Rs 92 lakh in five municipal wards for draining out the rain water.

The PS said the government had also launched National Slum Development Programme with 100 per cent Additional Central Assistance in 23 towns of the state with an outlay of Rs 20.10 crore.

Mr Dawar said the Bill of water supply and sewerage of the families living in the houses built in the plots measuring up to five marlas had been abolished and said this would benefit poor people living in urban areas by Rs 195 crore.

He said the decision of government to abolish octroi from the state without imposing any alternative tax in place of octroi and said that the government would compensate the Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils from tile revenue collections.

There was no dearth of funds for the development, as with the excellent management of finances and proper implementation of VAT the revenue collection had been enhanced to Rs 5,500 crore through VAT against the target of Rs 4,600 crore, he added.

He said with the increase of Rs 900 crore in the taxes through VAT against the fixed target, the government was in position to bear the expected loss f Rs 645 crore due to abolition of octroi in the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh has given special attention to the develop Ludhiana as a modem city of North India and funds amounting to Rs 7,253 crore, including Rs 3,995 crore approved by the state government under JNNURM were being spent and the prestigious project of construction of a Ring Road around Ludhiana city at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore was also under process. He said the Budha Nala passing through the city would he covered at cost of Rs 300 crore and elevated road measuring 66.5 km long would be constructed.

Referring to the development in Ludhiana East constituency, Mr Dawar claimed that funds more than Rs 35 crore have already been spent on various development projects during the past four years and a special project of Rs 16 crore for covering the Sullage Nala passing through the constituency has also been launched.

He said 10 new tube wells have been installed in the constituency and 10 more tube wells were being installed and toilets blocks of good quality were also being constructed at all public places in the constituency, besides a 67 KV power station near the Civil Hospital.

The completion of the storm sewerage, the problem of stagnation of rain water in five wards would permanently be solved.

Others who attended the function included Mr Ramesh Joshi, Director, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Mr Dimple Rana, president, District Congress, Ms Usha Malhotra, president, District Mahila Congress, Mr Ashok Prashar Pappi, Mr Rakesh Prashar, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Ms Malkiat Kaur, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Sanjay Talwar and Mr Sardul Singh, all councillors.



Resentment over ‘inflated’ water, sewerage bills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
There is a lot of resentment among the residents of MIG Colony, Phase II, Urban Estate, Dugri over the “inflated” water and sewerage bills issued by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Kreer, general secretary of the New Millennium Club, said nobody was going to pay the bill as the LMC had levied exorbitant rates that were not applicable to MIG flats.

“During 2003-04,” he said, “the rate for water and sewerage was Rs 50 pm for these flats. Now these are being charged Rs 150, which is arbitrary. The state government has decided to increase Rs 5 each year. Accordingly the rate for 2004-05 was Rs 55 and for 2005-06, it was Rs 60 for 100 sq yd. The same was applicable to MIG flats and only that rate should be charged. It is beyond comprehension why the civic body has imposed Rs 150 for MIG flats”.

“Further the water and sewerage wing was considering the area of the first floor flats as 162 sq yd, which is erroneous because PUDA has registered the ground floor flat as being 90 sq yd. No doubt, the total area is 162 sq yards on which two flats have been constructed, but the owners are different. PUDA has even allotted different numbers to each flat,” they said.

The officials of the department have surveyed the colony, but in spite of these facts, nothing is being done by the department to rectify the error. Scores of residents are visiting the office concerned for necessary rectification in the rates, but given the reluctance by the officials, it seems the LMC is not interested in preventing revenue loss to it on account of non-collection of bills, he added.

He, on behalf of the residdents, has requested the Commissioner and the Zonal Commissioner to personally look into the matter and take a favourable decision so that the residents are able to clear their bills at the earliest.



KVKs to act as harbingers of change
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
A four-day national workshop of programme coordinators (Krishi Vigyan Kendras) under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was inaugurated by the Additional Director-General, ICAR, Dr R.Prashad at Farmers’ Service Centre here yesterday.

Addressing the participants from eight states, Dr Prashad gave an overview of the mandate and functioning of 536 Krishi Vigyan Kendras spread across 578 districts of the country. Each programme coordinator was impressed upon that henceforth he will act as an “agent of change” to interact with farmers and their families to impart knowledge and guide them about its application in day-to-day farm and household chores.

In tune with the policy line given by the Prime Minister, these KVKs will act as “knowledge banks” and will also be a party to the implementation of the National Horticulture Commission objectives. “These are to serve as science-based institutions at the cutting edge of transferring technology to the farms,” he added.

Dr Prasad said refinement in technology, scientist-farmer and public-private partnership was essential for laying the foundation of the second green revolution. Each KVK would be equipped with facilities to test soil, water and fertilisers. Already 325 KVKs had this facility across the country.

To improve connectivity with KVKs and state agricultural universities, e-communication will also be introduced in a big way. The ICAR has prepared 44 documentary CDs and 28 technology bulletins for dissemination of technology. Already, 200 KVKs have this facility.

He assured state agricultural universities that there would not be any deficiency of funds to meet the requirements of KVKs. The ICAR, he disclosed, was already processing the report submitted on the functioning of KVKs by JNL Srivastava Committee. The real thrust would be switched over from crop services to farm management.

The PAU’s Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill, delivered the welcome address. He applauded the efforts of the ICAR in organising the first of its kind workshop on the university campus, where resource personnel had come to share their experiences and get feedback from the participants. His main refrain was to create awareness among farmers on the application of technology inputs and adopting marketing strategies.

Dr Gill said KVKs were already being shaped and re-modelled to act as “harbingers of change”. For this, each KVK programme coordinator would have to prepare comprehensive project, synthesise and evaluate the pros and cons before recommending any technology application. KVKs should work on alternate evaluation as well and take into consideration the family needs of farmers.

Sharing his experience of the funding chain of 17 KVKs under PAU, Dr Gill said unless the farmers and farming families harvested corresponding gains from the dissemination of knowledge, information and technology, the desired results would not be achieved.

Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator of this ICAR “transfer of technology” project, Dr A.K. Mehta, gave an overview of the work done in zones under his charge.



Sarpanch joins SAD

Ludhiana, July 14
Mr Gurcharan Singh, sarpanch of Uppal in Ludhiana district has resigned from the primary membership of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar). He was the member of the working committee of the SAD (A).

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Singh blamed supporters of Mr Mann for the July 2 incidents at the Akal Takht. He said although he had great regards for Mr Mann, people surrounding him were defaming the party. He also alleged that the party leadership of the SAD (A) was hostile to the interests of the Dalits and the downtrodden.

Dr Harjinder Singh Jakhu, who also resigned from the SAD (A) recently was also present at the press conference. He said a number of workers of the SAD (A) had either already left the party or were likely to do so in the coming days as they were upset with the party leadership. TNS



Tulsi distribution drive

Ludhiana, July 14
Clinic Plus Ayurveda , the new variant of Clinic Plus from Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) , is conducting a tulsi distribution drive in 75 schools in Punjab, to encourage children to plant more trees and to highlight the considerable benefits of Tulsi to school children.

During two weeks, 75 schools will be visited and thousands of tulsi saplings will be gifted to girl students along with a storybook on Ayurveda. Mr Vipul Chawla, Category Head, Hair Care, HLL said in a press note. TNS



Donations to PM's fund
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
The Punjab Government Pensioners' Association has sent a draft for Rs 3,100 to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund as its contribution for providing financial aid to Mumbai blast victims.
With this contribution for the eleventh time, the total contribution to this fund, now, comes to about Rs 50,000. 



SBI takes possession of mortgaged property 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Officials of the State Bank of India, Aggar Nagar branch, took the physical possession of the property mortgaged in the name of Mr Prem Singh of Haibowal Dairy Complex here yesterday.

Bank officials said in a press note issued here today that the party had availed certain credit facilities from the branch and defaulted in repayment of dues to the tune of Rs 4.81 lakh.

The bank had served a 60-day demand notice to the borrowers in August 2005, but the party failed to come forward following which the bank decided to take physical possession of the property mortgaged in the aforesaid account.

The premises were duly locked and sealed yesterday, the bank said.

The entire procedure was carried out with the assistance of M/s Gats Financial Reconstructors Limited. The authorised officer warned other defaulters of similar action in case they failed to repay their debts.



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