L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Bogus firm’ Scam
Whistleblower succumbs to injuries
‘Accidental’ death raises suspicions
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Jaswinderpal Singh, 26, who was instrumental in unearthing the multicrore rupee ‘bogus firm’ scam, lost his battle for life at the Christian Medical College & Hospital here today. He is survived by his wife and a two-year-old son.

Value added tax registrations of 350 companies were cancelled and over 100 other firms in the city came under the excise & taxation department's scanner after the scam came to light.

A clerk in the department, Jaswinderpal was hit by a speeding tractor-trailer coming from behind in Sudhar on August 26. He sustained severe injuries on the head was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition. His wife, whom he had married three years ago, had reportedly accompanied him for a morning walk when the incident occurred.

Calling Jaswinderpal a “martyr”, the staff welfare committee of the excise & taxation department has demanded a high level probe into his alleged accidental death. Members of the department have said the “bogus firm mafia” might have targeted the clerk as the latter was “posing a problem” for it.

Assistant excise & taxation commissioner Rishipal Singh said Jaswinderpal was given the job in the department on “compassionate grounds” after his father, Balkar Singh, was killed by militants during the 1980s insurgency in Punjab.

Saying he suspected foul play in the incident, Rishipal said: "I always appreciated his hard work and honesty. I had recommended his name for a state award. The entire episode has shocked me. I’ve requested the police to nab the culprit soon and unravel the mystery behind the accident."

Various excise and taxation associations have urged the Punjab government to provide a job for Jaswinderpal’s wife. They have also demanded that the government should bear the expenses incurred on his child’s education.

Funeral attended by thousands

Heart-rending scenes were seen at Jatinderpal’s funeral in Sudhar. Thousands of town residents, including members of the state administration and politicians, attended the cremation. The victim's wife was inconsolable. His two-year-old son, who was sitting in his uncle’s lap, lit the funeral pyre.

Unanswered questions

The stretch where the incident occurred is not thickly populated and adequate space is available for vehicles to maneuver. Eyebrows have been raised as to how a man who was walking on the side of the road was "accidentally hit.” The tractor-trailer which reportedly knocked Jatinderpal down did not bear a registration number plate and fled the scene after the alleged accident, which - many say - also indicates foul play. Jatinderpal had reportedly drawn the wrath of some transport firms for uncovering the scam. The firms were allegedly evading taxes by submitting fake invoices.


Cocaine worth Rs 7 crore seized
l 3 drug peddlers held lGang kingpin still at large
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
In a major haul of contraband narcotics the local police seized 1,320 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of ` 7 crore in the international market and arrested three suspected drug peddlers.

Two of them, identified as Gurjit Singh, a resident of Awana village in Amritsar, and Shanker, a resident of Rewari in Haryana, were nabbed in a hotel in Sector 32 in Chandigarh late last night. The third suspect, who has yet to be identified, was apprehended Rewari.

The cops seized 960 grams of cocaine from Shanker and Gurjit, while 360 grams of the drug was recovered from the suspect arrested in Rewari.

According to sources close to the police, following a tipoff that the peddlers were carrying contraband drugs in a bag the cops laid a trap on the Chandigarh road and stopped the vehicle in which the suspects were traveling at a checkpost near Sector 32 in Chandigarh.

During a search of the vehicle the police reportedly found a pouch containing cocaine hidden in a bag. A laboratory test conducted immediately confirmed the substance was cocaine.

During questioning the suspects soon cracked and confessed they were working as couriers for drug dealers based in Rewari, who they said were in possession of over six kilograms of cocaine with a street value of nearly ` 30 crore in the international market.

According to the sources, Shanker told the cops the Rewari-based drug dealers instructed him and his accomplice to deliver the cocaine to a man in Ludhiana. He claimed in return both of them were promised they would get ` 25 lakh each in cash.

However, Shanker and Gurjit said they did know the identity of the man to whom they were to deliver the contraband drug. They claimed they were just acting as couriers and the key suspect who they said was operating from Rewari knew the identity of the man in Ludhiana.

According to the plan, Gurjit and Shanker was told that when they would reach Jalandhar bypass, they would inform their master- Rewari based drug paddlers- about their location, the drug paddlers would further inform the Ludhiana based man about the presence of the duo. However, before the suspects could reach the Jalandhar bypass the police nabbed them.

After getting the information police teams were sent to Rewari to nab the kingpin of the drug smuggling gang. However, the prime suspect reportedly fled after he came to know about the arrest of his accomplice.

The cops later nabbed another drug peddler and seized 360 grams of cocaine worth nearly ` 2 crore in the international market.

ACP Bhupinder Singh stated Gurjit was currently employed in a mobile phone firm as a helper while Shanker was working as a tailor in Rewari. He added the two were reportedly lured by drug dealers who offered them a huge amount of money for delivering the drugs.

According to Bhupinder, a sacked Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cop, Arvind Kumar, a resident of Rewari, was heading the cocaine smuggling racket.

It is learnt a joint team of the Ludhiana and Rewari police is conducting raids to hunt him down. Police search teams have also been sent to Uttar Pradesh and Rewari in Haryana.

Recent drug hauls

l In July the police nabbed a student with 5 kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of ` 25 crore in his possession

l Earlier this year an Afghan national was arrested for allegedly peddling heroine



25 injured as school bus overturns
Mahesh Sharma

Jagraon, August 30
A major tragedy was averted when timely action by the police and passersby rescued at least 25 persons, including 23 students of Government Primary School, Dholanwala, village, who were hurt after the pickup van carrying them collided with a pillar near Keelee Chahlan village on Jagraon Moga road near here today.

The condition of all inured barring four admitted at Multi-specialty Hospital in Ludhiana is said to be out of danger.

Students were been taken to Kote Isse Khan to participate in a sports meet reportedly being organised by the organisation of ETT teachers.

Students Sarabjit Kaur, Dani Kaur and Balwinder Kaur and Satnam Kaur, helper, were fighting for life at the hospital in Ludhiana whereas Parveen Kaur, Amanpreet Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Hardeep Kaur, Raj Kaur, Anita Rani, Jaswinder Kaur, Manisha , Mandeep Kaur, Manjit Kaur, Rajvir and Ramandeep Kaur were admitted at civil hospital here.

Investigation by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a pickup van carrying 23 students of Government Primary School, Dholanwal, and their teachers was on its way to Kote Isse Khan, when the driver Sewa Singh lost control over the wheel on suddenly seeing a bus on the road and the vehicle overturned after colliding with a pillar.

Receiving information from a passerby, Gurjant Singh, SHO, Ajitwal, reached the spot and rescued the injured with the help of the passersby and villagers and sent them to various hospitals in nearby localities. Sarabjit Kaur, Dani Kaur and Balwinder Kaur and Satnam Kaur were shifted to a multi-specialty hospital at Ludhiana where their condition was stated to be serious.

Controversy prevailed about the permission granted to the school authorities to take students out to participate in the event.

Though authorities, including District Education Officer Harbhajan Ram, and Manpreet Singh Ayali chairman Zila Parishad showed ignorance about any sports meet being organised, Jaswinder Singh, president, ETT Union, maintained that the organisation had taken permission from the Panchayati Raj department.

Jagraon SDM Mukand Singh Sandhu and Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP, visited hospitals to supervise the rescue operation and treatment of the injured students. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, who along with the senior administrative functionaries visited Dyanand Hospital, Ludhiana, to see the injured children, announced that all expenses on treatment of students would be borne by the government.

With parents of injured students not demanding action against anyone, the Ajitwal police has filed the case on statement of Gurdeep Kaur, the teacher who accompanied the victims. 



Rooftop travel goes unchecked in city
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
The sight of intrepid travellers perched on top of overcrowded buses has become a common sight in the city.

Everyday, passengers can be seen risking their lives, perched atop buses bursting at their seams.

Interestingly, the sight, particularly peculiar to buses owned by private operators, is not a rarity when it comes to those of the state transport authority.

Commuters can often be spotted atop buses, sitting cross-legged and sitting some distance away from electric wires. Many of them avoid buying tickets, which costs only a few rupees. Others are desperate to reach their destination as early as possible without wasting time, on the lookout for another public transport vehicle.

Such passengers are not only making themselves vulnerable to fatal falls, electrocution, getting hurt by trackside poles, but also risk the lives of the "super-dense crushload" crammed into the bus.

However, major responsibility of such acts falls on the shoulders of the vehicle driver and conductor, who allow it, with a view to minting extra bucks, ignoring the safety of the passengers and co-motorists on the road.

The unfortunate scenario also raises a question mark on the authorities' seriousness towards their responsibility.

Unfortunately, the authorities, including the Ludhiana traffic police, District Transport Office and state roadways, have consistently failed in ending such death-defying commutes by being mute spectators to the spectacle.

What surprises even more is the fact that the blatant violation of multiple-traffic rules by such bus drivers, more often than not, goes unnoticed by the authorities, who prefer to turn a blind eye to the defiance.

The inaction of the authorities concerned has evoked sharp criticism from all quarters.

"The fact that the drivers of the public transport lack any sense is not a surprise but at least some authoritative figure or body who has even the slightest concern of such precious lives at risk can take action," fumes a social worker.

"The authorities should tighten the noose around private bus operators who allow rooftop travel to mint extra bucks. No bus should be allowed to operate even with a single person atop its roof. Strict action should be taken against violators by issuing challans, impounding the vehicle and confiscation of documents," remarks a retired traffic cop.

Another city resident adds, "It is obvious that the passengers do not fully comprehend that when they hang on to their lives clinging to a handle on the side or enjoy the fresh air on top, their chances of injury or even death are raised 10 fold."

He adds that the authorities should immediately take strict action to curb the growing menace. "What are they waiting for? A serious tragedy?" he questions.

The authorities, on the other hand, plead helplessness. "Many violations go unrecorded," says a senior traffic police official, hinting at a strong nexus between police officials and transport operators. "Many a time, the officials on duty let the violators off after making them pay Rs 50 or 100," he said, pointing at the major problem of corruption ailing the system.



Water samples fail quality test
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Twelve out of 14 water samples taken by the district health authorities from the Sherpur Kalan and Dhandari Khurd localities have failed the laboratory test. This has confirmed that water contamination was the reason behind the gastroenteritis outbreak that had claimed 11 lives in the last four days. More than a dozen colonies falling under these areas are under the grip of gastroenteritis.

Meanwhile, fifty-five fresh cases of gastroenteritis and diarrhoea were reported today during the ongoing medical camps at Sherpur and Dhandari areas, taking the number of patients suffering from waterborne diseases to over 400.

Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla and senior medical officer Dr Amarjit Kaur are supervising the medical camps in Sherpur Kalan and Dhandari Khurd.

The department of health and family welfare is running a special ambulance in these localities to shift the critically ill patients to civil hospitals in Ludhiana and Sahnewal. Dr Harjap Singh, paediatrician, and Dr Malwinder Mala are administering treatment to patients in the medical camps.



Merger of Schools
Teachers to intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Not ready to give up to the decision of the state education department on the merger of primary and secondary schools, primary schoolteachers have decided to intensify their agitation.

Already protesting against the education department's move, members of the Ludhiana chapter of the Government Primary Teachers' Association, Punjab, during a meeting submitted a memorandum to Satpal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, urging him to intervene in the matter, failing which they would be forced to intensify their agitation, they said.

The Punjab School Education Board had instructed all government primary schools to club with middle, high or senior secondary schools. The directive calls for the clubbing of primary schools with the higher divisions with whom they share either the campus or boundary walls.

While teachers of middle and secondary schools have preferred to reserve their apprehensions on the move, those of the primary schools have raised a furore.

They rue that if the merger is affected, they would have to suffer great losses. The biggest fear stalking the teachers is that their promotions would be stalled, among other things.

This, despite the fact that Director-General, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Punjab, Krishan Kumar had clarified on July 19 that the clubbing of schools would not affect the promotions of primary schoolteachers.

Voicing their apprehensions, association members Rajinder Singh KT and Rakesh Kumar Sharma argued: "In each primary school, there is a primary head teacher. In middle schools, there is no headmaster and the school is headed by the senior-most teacher. Out of the two, who will be given promotion if the divisions are clubbed together."

Meanwhile, the move had not gone down well with the teachers of middle and secondary schools either. However, unlike their counterparts teaching in primary schools, the teachers of middle and secondary schools have preferred to maintain silence.

A teacher of a government secondary school said: "It is being said that after the clubbing, primary school teachers will have to teach Classes VI to VIII whereas they are not qualified to do so. Their academic qualification is only Class X."

Meanwhile, blaming the protesting primary teachers for being a hindrance in implementation of the directive, education department officials said the decision is aimed at uplifting the level of education in the state.



Students apprised of services in PAU library
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 30
To apprise students and faculty members of PAU about facilities and services available in Dr MS Randhawa Library of the university, an orientation programme was conducted wherein faculty, students and research scholars participated.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said in the age of Internet connectivity, information available in libraries could be accessed effectively.

Librarian, Dr JK Sangha highlighted online activities as well as CD-ROM databases and other softwares in the direction of automation. Kanwal Narula and Sunidhi Bala projected the web page, OPAC and other modes of library use through a power-point presentation. Yogita Sharma and Sanjiv Kumar guided users to make their profiles in consortium of e-Resources in Agriculture (CeRA) to avail more than 6,000 online journals.

The use of J-Gate databases to have access to more than 2,000 online journals pertaining to agricultural and biological sciences and Indian doctoral thesis (Krishi Prabha), a database of PhD dissertations with effect from 2000 in Indian agricultural universities was also explained.

Dr Sangha said the PAU library had emerged as a “knowledge resource centre” having more than 3.5 lakh documents to its users from 9 am to 9 pm on all working days. One reading hall with the sitting capacity of 40 is open day and night even on holidays.

Two of its centrally air-conditioned reading halls have WiFi connectivity.



Educationist remembered

Doraha, August 30
Late Dr Ishwar Singh, whose birth anniversary is being celebrated tomorrow, was an educationist who played the game of his life with full zest and vigour.

Born with a purpose, there was no looking back for this multi-faceted personality and man of high convictions and audacity.

All combined into one- a physician, an educationist, a social worker and a leader of the masses- Dr Ishwar Singh was highly respected in all spheres of life. Dr Ishwar Singh worked as a house surgeon at Dayanand Medical School, Ludhiana, and Lady Irwin Hospital, New Delhi, till 1947 and after that he chose Doraha.

He did his private medical practice at Doraha for nearly half-a-century. Being in medical profession, he represented various medical associations. He was the president of Doraha IMA and was selected in the panel of doctors formed to provide aid to the railway victims.

He had the passion to promote education, especially among rural people. Dr Ishwar Singh was the founder president of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, and Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha. He was also the manager of RS Khalsa High School, Jaspalon, and Sikh Girls High School, Jaspalon, apart from being the trustee of Nankana Sahib Public School, Ludhiana.

He had also been the president and vice-president of the municipal council, Doraha, for several years. He had been the president of Rotary Club, Doraha. — OC



Schemes for benefit of trade, industry elaborated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Offset Printer’s Association (OPA) organised a function for its members, in which Arun Kumar Jha, IES, director, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), was the chief guest.

He distributed grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs 5,70,359 to delegates, who visited Sino Label and Printing South China trade fair at Guangzhou, China, under the banner of Offset Printer’s Association (OPA) under the international cooperation scheme of the Ministry of MSME.

SS Dhillon, director, MSME DI, Ludhiana, elaborated various schemes available with the department for the overall benefit of trade and industry.

Dhillon said, “We will give funds for setting up of testing lab for print and packaging industry.” Rajesh Jain, branch manager, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), said, “Printers must apply for MSME number. All those who are already having this number will be given 60 per cent grant-in-aid from NSIC for exhibiting their products at the national and international platform.”

He also spoke about the role of NSIC in promotion and development of micro and small enterprises in the country.



From Schools & Colleges

It was a matter of great pride for Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, that eight students of the institute represented Panjab University, Chandigarh, at North Zone Inter-University Youth Leadership camp at Dalhousie. The camp was organised by GNDU, Amritsar, and sponsored by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi. Prof Amit Narula, director, department of youth welfare of the college, accompanied the students. Prof Narula informed that the college team was adjudged the best disciplined team of the camp. Over 60 students from 10 north Indian universities participated in various activities like debate, poem recitation, extempore and group singing. They learnt motivational and sportsmanship skills, along with leadership qualities.

‘Dhian Da Mela’

A meeting regarding Dhian Da Mela was held at Government College for Women on Monday. The meeting was presided over by Hira Singh Gabria, minister, jail, cultural affairs and tourism. He was accorded a warm welcome by principal Gurminder Kaur. Gabria said Punjab was divided in seven zones for this purpose and a common meeting in this regard would be held in the future. Ranjodh Singh, president, Punjab Art Council, said various committees would be formed to conduct the mela on October 28-29. He also said principals and conveners of cultural committees of the colleges would be involved. After this, a brief meeting was held under the chairmanship of Gurminder Kaur to discuss various rules and regulations of the mela.

Janamashtmi celebrated

Students of Kiddies’ Paradise School, Kochar Market, celebrated Janamashtmi with great religious fervour here on Monday. Important scenes from the life of Lord Krishna were enacted on the occasion. The school campus wore a festive look. Little ones came dressed as Lord Krishna, Radha, gopis, Yashodha, Devki and Vasudeva. They danced to the tunes of traditional Janamashtmi songs.

Students excel

Students of Doraha Public School excelled with their exhibits on climate change and science and technology in the recently concluded north region science exhibition organised for the schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education. The exhibition was held at Lawrence Public School, Mohali. Out of a total of 21 models, 15 were selected for the national-level science exhibition. A model prepared by Manpreet Singh of class X and Karanbir Bhardwaj of class IX bagged the first prize. The students will now represent Punjab at the national level. Principal JK Gupta appreciated the efforts of the science teachers and congratulated the teachers and winning students. — TNS



Nepalese technicians given training at vet varsity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 30
“Training at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)-sponsored course will help us to deliver our services in a better manner to serve ailing animals. It would also develop an atmosphere for mutual deliberations in Indian sub-continent.”

These observations were made by Surya Narayan Sharma, team leader of Nepalese technician delegation, who was here for a two-week training in laboratory techniques in microbiology, immunology and pathology at GADVASU here.

The training, which concluded today, covered basic laboratory procedures and techniques employed in diagnosis of infectious diseases. The course was sponsored by the FAO of the United Nations. Ten veterinary technicians from the department of livestock services, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of the Government of Nepal participated in the training.

This programme was a component under the FAO and Government of Nepal agreement on the FAO technical assistance to the avian influenza control programme. The prime objective of this course was to train the technicians in advanced laboratory techniques and impart knowledge on avian diseases.

The training course was jointly conducted by the departments of veterinary microbiology and veterinary pathology of the College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU. The heads of the departments - Dr Hari Mohan Saxena (microbiology) and Dr Naresh Sood (pathology) - were coordinators in their respective disciplines, while Dr Saxena was the overall in charge of the course.

The valedictory function was presided over by Registrar, Dr PD Juyal, and Dr SNS Randhawa, dean, postgraduate studies, was the chief guest.

Dr Randhawa distributed certificates to the trainees and released manuals on microbiological and pathological techniques prepared by the faculty of two departments.

In his valedictory address, Dr Randhawa hoped that the momentum and bonhomie generated by this apex-level capacity building effort at GADVASU would be sustained by the FAO and other international agencies like OIE and WHO would take the benefit of GADVASU to extend human resource development to other developing countries of the world.

Dr Juyal released CDs containing manuals and presented mementos to the faculty involved in the training. He lauded the faculty of both departments, which succeeded in bagging the prestigious assignment for GADVASU.



Team of Rotary Club installed

Ludhiana, August 30
Annual installation programme of the Rotary Club was held on Saturday. Members of the board of directors for 2010-2011 were installed.The programme was presided over by Kanti K Behal.

While addressing the function, Behal appreciated the progress made by the Indian economy despite numerous problems being faced by the country. He pleaded that a lot of work has to be done for alleviating poverty and hunger. — TNS



Building castles in the air

Even as the traffic situation in the mega city is going from bad to worse, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, with his renewed interest in the city (obviously with the next assembly elections drawing near), unfolds one or the other plan every now and then during his visit to Ludhiana.

If his earlier dream project was metro railway to ease the traffic congestion, it’s now a mobility plan for the city with promises of more flyovers, underbridges and wider roads. However, all these projects remain on paper and no worthwhile progress seems to have been made is another story. City residents have to undergo the ordeal of bad roads, burgeoning number of vehicle all around, extended traffic jams, lack of parking places resulting in road rage. The conditions worsen during VIP visits, including the junior Badal himself.

Taking a ‘games’ break

Hosting Commonwealth Games is a thing one should be proud of, but looking at the delayed arrangements, many Delhi residents are planning to stay out of the country.

They are planning their vacations abroad, especially to Southeast Asia and Europe during the October mega event. Even tour operators have offered special travel packages during this period. And bookings for the period are boosting revenues for such operators.

One of my relatives living in Delhi said she is in no mood to witness the games, to be held from October 3-14, as recent reports of large-scale corruption in the preparations has led to doubts about successful hosting of the event. “I am sceptic about the event. The reports of corruption have affected the enthusiasm levels of many. Many people are worried over what may happen here then,” she said.

And these are not just about families and friends, but corporates are also letting their staff take a break during the event which will be hosted in India for the first time. People are not sure about school holidays. Government offices may also be closed during that time. Once both of these are confirmed, more people will confirm bookings by then.

Canny kids

A fresh BEd pass out joined a city school as teacher. On the very first day, she was assigned a kindergarten class as the teacher concerned was on a leave. A little nervous, the girl entered the room to a rousing welcome by tiny tots, who were more than happy to have a "new ma'am". After a quick introduction, the teacher, who was at ease now, got down to books. She taught the little ones English alphabets in the first class, with frequent "water break" and "washroom break" interruptions from her young students.

Half-an-hour passed, the school bell rang and the children asked the teacher for permission to go out and have their tiffin as it was "lunch break time for the KG section". They rushed out of the class as soon as the teacher nodded in approval. The teacher waited in the school ground for the students to return from break when a senior colleague asked her the reason for standing there. Smiling, she replied it was "lunch break " to guffaws from her colleague. It so turned out that, considering her first day at school, the smart four-year-olds gauged that she was not aware of the school routine and had fooled her to allow them to go out for lunch when actually it was time for the second class. The episode became a joke of the school for the next many days.

Racing all the way

Giving a good chase to the vehicle driven by a woman is something that every Punjabi male takes pride in. Call it chauvinism or a way of getting back at the "self reliant" women, but the temptation to overtake the cars and scooters driven by women/girls is evident on the city roads.

It was an embarrassing situation for a prejudiced man behind the wheels when a cop while trying to overtake the car driven by a women double his age caught him. Unable to hold back the chance to reprimand the young man, the woman, who happened to be a retired college lecturer, got out of her car and availed the chance to say, "Son, it is not just the matter of racing ahead of the woman in front of you, but it matters more to set an example for the other drivers on the road. Aim to win the marathons and not the short sprints dear," the woman went on to add.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander, Charu Chhibber and Anshu Seth



Power loom workers seek hike in pay scale
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Workers in these units are working in the worst conditions and have not even got wage revision for the past 12 years. Meagre salaries, bad-working conditions, no incentives have forced them to put off work.

Ludhiana, August 30
The Power loom sector, lifeline of the Indian Textile Industry, produces wide range of fabrics ranging from grey, printed fabric, dyed fabric, cotton fabric, various mix of cotton, synthetic, and other fibres. The city exports goods worth lakhs to countries like U.S.A, France, Germany, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Italy but the sad part is that the workers in these units are working in the worst conditions and have not even got wage revision for the past 12 years.

The protest by workers of the power loom units at New Shakti Nagar today entered its sixth day. Nearly 200 more workers joined the protest today. As many as 800 workers from 54 units are on the roads to get their pending demands fulfilled. Meagre salaries, bad-working conditions, no incentive have forced the workers to put off work. The workers allege that they have been fighting for the hike in the pay scale for the past few days but the factory owners had expelled them from their jobs.

These workers are hand to mouth now. “The amount we are earning while working in these units is very small. We are left with nothing to save for the rainy days. Many workers are suffering from one or the other disease but they have no money for the treatment,” said Roshan Lal, one of the workers.

The workers in large number staged a dharna outside the Labour Commissioner’s office today. Though negotiations with the unit owners were held but nothing positive came of it.

“Since the past 10 years I am been given the same price for one piece I finish. I am not given fixed salary. Prices of everything is skyrocketing but there is no increase in the salary,” he added.

The Karkhana Mazdoor Union president Rajwinder adding said the security of workers was at risk. Last year, one of the workers had died due to electrocution and since there were many units with boilers in the area, the workers were always at risk,” he said.

The workers are being given salary in the range of between Rs 3,000 and 4,000 and with overtime one can earn around Rs 5,000 per month while many workers get wages on per piece basis only. The labour laws are not being followed in these units and the workers don't get facilities like PF and ESI.

“For nearly three months in a year we have to sit idle without salary whenever there is a lean period of the power loom factories. Our major demand is the wage hike and implication of labour laws in the factories,” added Rajwinder.

Power loom units at a glance


 Technology level requires upgrading.

l  Manpower desires to be trained and educated.

l n Scarcity of availability of finance from financial institutions.


l  There should be change in the production pattern as per the market demand.

l  Production must be in different fabrics with different properties.

l  Must upgrade production technology.


l  Interrupted and high cost of power supply.

l  To produce quality control fabrics with low cost of production.

l  Use of new advanced technology has to be encouraged.



Riot victims asked to complete formalities
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
It seems that that the district administration is in no mood to land in any controversy. In the latest development, the district administration has asked 247 riot victims to complete the formalities so that red cards could be issued to them.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has even sent a registered post to the 247 persons, claiming themselves to the victim of the 1984 riots.

"We cannot take a chance. The cases of riot victims, which were put on hold, could not produce satisfactory documents to stake their claim on red card. We has sent them registered post and intimated them to complete the formalities," said DC Rahul Tiwari.

The precautionary measures were taken in the wake of boiling controversy of sham cases of riot victims.

According to vigilance officials, anti-social elements and department employees were receiving benefits meant for the riot victims.

The matter first came to light with on the arrest of a clerk, Kimti Lal, on May 27. The accused was working under the SDM (East) at mini- secretariat. Lal had demanded Rs 95,000 from a riot victim in lieu to clear the cheque for Rs 2 lakh. The Vigilance Bureau laid a trap and nabbed Lal and his assistant.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Surjit Singh of Danga Pirit Welfare Association submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to speed up the procedure of issuing red cards of riot victims.

The memorandum was sighted as a retaliatory move by Surjit Singh, president of the Danga Pirit Welfare Association as the 1984 Sikh Qatl-e-Aam Peerit Action Committee led by Charanjit Singh met the Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and demanded CBI probe in the fake riot victim cases. 



‘Value addition in agri sector need of the hour’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Additional director-general, food and fibre crops, at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Dr RP Dua today visited the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) to get the information regarding various research activities initiated by the institute.

Dr RT Patil, director, CIPHET, briefed Dr RP Dua about various products and processes developed by the institute to help farmers increasing their income level.

Visibly impressed with research carried out at the CIPHET, Dr Dua said a lot of work was taking place in the institute. He agreed that without value addition, situation of farmers could not be improved.

A film on showcasing achievements and mandate of the CIPHET was also screened for Dr Dua at the director's office.

Meanwhile, head, transfer of technology division, Dr Deepak Raj Rai made a power point presentation on work carried out by him on smart packaging during his visit to the US.

Dr Patil said without international standard packaging, Indian products could never compete with global competition.



First foreign patient lands at city airport
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 30
Dr Jim Chan from Canada, accompanied by his mother who had come here for "Cytotron" and "artery clearance" (chelation) treatment, landed at Ludhiana Airport a few days ago to become the first foreign patient to use the much-awaited air-connectivity to the mega city.

Jim was in touch with Sibia Medical Centre through e-mail for the past four years, but it is only now that he could find time from his busy schedule to come to India. His 84-year-old mother, Cheung Shek Yan, lives in Hong Kong and has severe osteo-arthritis in both knees and also cerebral ischaemia. The knee pain makes it difficult to walk and the brain stroke has further made her life miserable by causing paralytic weakness in her right arm and hand.

"Due to the pain and weakness, at her age it is near impossible for my mother to board a train or a bus, says Dr Jim, and like most foreigners, he himself is scared of the Indian road traffic.” The very thought of travelling by road, even in a taxi, from Delhi to Ludhiana is scary for people not used to chaotic conditions on Indian roads.

According to Dr Jim, in just 12 days, his mother is already feeling much better. Her knee pain, walk and arm weakness is better, making her feel younger, and she feels that she will definitely go back healthier. Dr SS Sibia, managing director of the centre, says, "Millions of patients all over the world look forward to safe, effective, non-invasive and non-surgical treatments, and this centre is, perhaps, the last hope for many of them suffering with diseases of heart, joints, back, kidney stones and cancer.

Dr Harpreet Sibia, director of the centre, informed that India was heading towards being world leader in medical facilities and in this context, air connectivity of the city with Delhi will turn out to be a big step.



Bride’s parents locked out by relatives

Phillaur, August 30
Parents of a bride, Kusum Bala, belonging to the Saraf community, had to pay a heavy price for giving consent to their daughter to marry a Jat groom, Sukhpreet, from nearby Mansurpur village recently.

Relatives of the bride, who were opposed to the marriage, solemnised in a village gurdwara on August 22, locked out the bride’s parents for giving consent to inter-caste marriage.

According to reports both girl and boy were in love and with the consent of their parents, their marriage was organised in a gurdwara of Sangh Dhesian village, but some family members of the bride were opposed to the marriage. Now Sunita Rani, mother of the bride, is residing in the house of the in-laws of her daughter, while father Subhash Kumar has lodged a police complaint against his relatives. — OCBack


Perform or perish, state YC chief tells cadres
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 30
Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) president Ravneet Singh Bittu has asked the party workers, especially the office-bearers, to perform else make way for others.

Making it clear that he means business, he directed the district president of the party to issue show-cause notices to four block presidents for poor performance. Bittu, also a member of the Lok Sabha from Anandpur Sahib, was addressing a party workers meeting here last evening.

With his eyes on state assembly elections due in 2012, the PYC chief announced that the party high command had agreed in principle to give adequate representation to the youth and the state unit of the YC would seek party tickets for at least 35 assembly seats.

Speaking at the occasion, district YC president Dimple Rana said the youth icon of the party, Rahul Gandhi, had been working to bring qualified persons and professionals in the party fold to give it a new look. Similarly, more representation was being given to women in the party.



City stinks, residents’ hopes sink
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Garbage littered at Aman Nagar, near Jalandhar bypass, in Ludhiana.
Garbage littered at Aman Nagar, near Jalandhar bypass, in Ludhiana.Tribune photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 30
Garbage littered on the roadside is a common site around the city be it the city interiors or posh localities. While areas around Sherpur are already in the grip of diseases, now the residents of post localities fear the outbreak of diseases.

Garbage is littered openly on the roads. Even if there are garbage bins, they are overflowing. Even the garbage bins are not cleared daily which in turn is becoming breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Jasman, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, said posh localities are no better than the city interiors. "Although we are living in one of the posh localities of the city but the situation is the same. The garbage is overflowing from the bins. The bins should be cleared daily and the MC should work on the solid waster management plant," she said.

The Municipal Corporation has not learnt any lessons from the past. Every year infectious diseases like dengue and gastroenteritis spread in specific areas but the MC fails to check it every year. "The garbage is openly littered on the roadsides. After rain it becomes virtually impossible to pass near that stretch. A wall should be constructed wherever the garbage bin is kept so that the foul smell is not affect those passing by," added Karan Jindal, resident of Rajguru Nagar.

"All the sweepers from the nearby colonies collect the garbage from the houses and dump it on the Ferozepur Road. It has become a virtual hell. It becomes difficult to pass by the place. Once in a while the Municipal Corporation's van comes to pick up the garbage. We have sent many complaints to the authorities but to no avail," said Satnam Singh, a senior citizen.

Rainy season is the time when diseases spread. The MC and Health department should be geared up to tackle the situation but in turn the authorities are doing nothing and the garbage littered openly is a common site on the city roads. Though the people living in the interiors feel that the posh localities are safer but even here the residents fear the spread of air and water-borne diseases.



Makeshift dairy ‘milking’ residents
Anshu Seth
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Indifferent attitude of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to maintain the areas adjoining Flower Enclave has given a free access to a nomadic tribe to set up an illegal dairy in the area.

The illegal dairy near the 100 feet road near the flower chowk has been there for the past two months. Despite repeated reminders given by the area residents, PUDA has failed to initiate any action.

Sludge and buffalo dung in this makeshift dairy complex has resulted in breeding of mosquitoes and flies in the area, putting the health of area residents at risk.

"These nomads have almost 200 buffaloes which are left to graze in the adjoining green areas during the day. Things go out of control when the cattle return in the evening as it becomes impossible for the residents to move out. Moreover, the stench emanating from the mess is unbearable," rued Tirlochan Singh, an area resident.

It is absurd that taking into consideration the chaos and filth generated from dairies, the district administration had shifted all the permanent dairies outside the city limits a decade ago. But PUDA has done little to take into account the inconvenience caused by the makeshift dairy.

To add to the problems, buffaloes stray on the inner roads of PUDA colonies thereby posing a danger to motorists. "Not a day passes by when a two-wheeler rider does not bump into a buffalo wandering on the streets," said Dharam Pal from Urban Estate Phase II, Dugri.

When apprised of the situation, AK Sinha, the chief administrator, PUDA, said he would immediately depute officials to look into the matter. "The nomads will be asked to vacate the land at the earliest," Sinha added.



Migrant couple get financial help for ailing son
Mahesh Sharma

Payal, August 30
People have begun enquiring about Tej Partap Singh, so that they can provide financial help for his surgery and treatment. Tej is suffering from chronic pulmonary disease caused due to perforated lungs. He is the only son of a migrant couple of Nizampur village near here.

Reacting to a story published in these columns today, Dr Neeru Katyal, SDM, Payal, deputed Mandeep Singh Tehsildar to visit the hospital and do the needful for expediting the surgery and much required help for the saving life of the child.

“I have deputed an official to contact the family and ensure that the life of the child is saved at all costs. We will try to fetch help from the District Red Cross besides contributing on our own,” said Kaytal.

According to Gurdeep Singh Nizampur, a social activist of the village, more contributions had arrived after the story was published in the Ludhiana Tribune.

The migrant family of Varinder Singh had lost their daughter, as there were no adequate funds for her medical treatment earlier. Now the family had sought financial help for treatment of their only son Tej.



Poor Power Supply
Residents march on streets with lamps
Bhuhsan Sood
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 30
Residents of Amloh town came out in the streets with empty buckets, hand fans and ‘lanterns’ (lamps) in their hands to express their anger against the poor supply of electricity.

The town had to remain without power supply continuously from 7am to 7pm yesterday; besides routine short interruptions on other days. The water supply of the city failed as it depends on two tubewells and the business establishments were also affected.

The protest march was led by MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Pradesh Congress committee secretaries Dr Swantantar Karkra, Jiwan Kumar Puri, Ranjit Singh Boparai, Jagwinder Singh Rehal and Hemant Pajni. They raised slogans against the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited and the state government.

Later a memorandum addressed to the Governor, Panjab, was handed to SDM Poonamdeep Kaur, demanding uninterrupted power supply and to stop unscheduled power cuts. 



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