Friday, June 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


WB terms put government in fix 
over power tariff hike
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The move by the Punjab government to order a 15 per cent hike in power tariff for all categories of consumers in the state seems to be getting mired in new controversies.

The industry in the state has already opposed the move, pointing out that it would be better if the Punjab State Electricity Board is asked to put its own house in order and effect economy by cutting down staff strength, reduce line losses and come down heavily on corruption and power theft besides withdrawing populist measures like free water and power supply to the rural sector.

"Why should a law-abiding, tax-paying common consumer be penalised for fulfilling the fads of the government to supply free power and water to the realties?" asks Mr P.D. Sharma, President of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab.

A committee constituted some time ago by the government to look into the issue of a power hike which met in Chandigarh last evening left a final decision in the matter to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Those who attended the meeting included besides the Chairman of the PSEB, Mr S.P. Oswal, Mr Harish Khanna, Mr Chanan Singh Matharu, Mr Avinash Arora, Mr Amarjit Goel, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr R.P. Bhatia and Mr Inder Mohan Singh Grewal. He is expected to formally announce a hike on Monday.

But in the meantime, the World Bank has stepped in and let it be known that it has taken a dim view of the government's tendency in favour of populist measures. It has left the state government in no doubt that nearly Rs 900 crore in loans sanctioned for drinking water schemes in Punjab will be suspended if the Punjab Government persists with its decision to supply free water and power to the rural sector.

This is bad news for the cash-strapped state government which is already waging a grim battle to raise more resources, balance its budget and ensure a regular payments off salaries and pensions to its present and former employees. As per the board's own estimate, the loss to the PSEB on account of free power is of the order of nearly Rs 1,000 crore. The board is thus getting a revenue of Rs 4,000 crore a year from only 52 per cent of the consumers. "If the Punjab Government compensates the board for its loss on account of free power to the agriculture sector, there is hardly any need for raising the power tariff," says Mr Harish Khanna, President, Industry and Trade Forum.

The World Bank has, however, assured the Punjab Government that it would be willing to extend hefty loans on soft terms if it undertook a comprehensive overhaul of the PSEB. The Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh and the Finance Secretary reportedly met World Bank officials in New Delhi recently where they were left in no doubt about tough conditions laid out by the World Bank: No loans for Punjab unless sops like free water and power supply is withdrawn.

Incidentally, the Punjab Government continues to drag its feet on this vital issue despite the fact that a high-powered cabinet sub-committee has already recommended withdrawal of these sops. The Chief Minister himself is the chairman of the committee which also includes Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Raja Narinder Singh, Mr Tota Singh and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal. It also includes senior bureaucrats such as Chief Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

The recommendation of the Cabinet sub-committee for withdrawal of power and water sop is unanimous. It has also recommended that the PSEB should charge same power rates from the agriculture sector as were applicable at the time of withdrawing them i.e. Rs 50 per H.P.

Interestingly, while the Punjab Government continues to drag its feet on this issue, the neighbouring Haryana is availing itself of the World Bank's loan facilities to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore, with a further assurance of another loan of Rs 4,000 crore for improving the power situation in the state after the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala went back on his poll promise of a free power supply to farmers in Haryana.

At the World Bank's bidding, Haryana is also gradually increasing rates of power for agriculture. As Mr Sharma points out, it should be clear to the Punjab Government that every state is availing itself of World Bank's soft term loans. "Without assistance from the World Bank, no state can undertake developmental works. Even our own financial institutions hesitate to extend loans to the PSEB because of free power. It has now become the bane of the Punjab economy. The government will do well to pay attention this issue and set the PSEB's house in order instead of taking the easier way by blindly effecting an across the board hike in power tariff.


PAU revises fee for MBA, B.Tech
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, June 15 — As anticipated the Punjab Agricultural University Board of Management has decided to revise the fee structure of B.Tech (Agricultural Engineering) and MBA for 2000-01 at its 189th meeting which was held in Chandigarh yesterday.

It is learnt that Punjab Technical University had proposed to raise the fee to as much as Rs 30,000 per annum for open candidates of B.Tech and MBA and $ 5,000 per annum for NRI candidates. But the PAU management has decided to follow a relatively low fee pattern in consonance with Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Punjabi University, Patiala. Now the fee will be Rs 12,000 per annum for open seats of B.Tech and MBA and $ 3,500 per annum for NRI candidates. Earlier the fee for B.Tech students was a little more than Rs 500 per annum and in few hundred for MBA students in the university which have now been substantially raised.

It has also been learnt that Mr S.K. Bhatia has been given one-year extension as comptroller of the university.



Jawan cremated with honours
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The mortal remains of Naik Bhagwant Singh, who died in an encounter with anti-national elements at the Domarinar Post in the Kiran sector near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, were consigned to flames with full military honours at his native village Bhaini Arora, about 35 km from here, today.

Earlier this morning, the body of the jawan was brought here from J and K by his friend Naik Avtar Singh, a resident of the nearby Nangal Khurd village and Mr Parminder Singh, a cousin of Bhagwant Singh, both of whom were incidentally serving in the same unit. A pall of gloom had engulfed the entire village and a large number of people from the surrounding villages, waited in grief for the body to arrive.

The village population, though mourning the loss of Nk.Bhagwant Singh, had a sense of dignified pride also because the deceased Army man had earned a name for the village by sacrificing his life for the unity and integrity of the country.

The body, wrapped in Tricolour, was carried to the cremation ground by an Army contingent and a big funeral procession followed the pall-bearers. As the pyre was lit, Army jawans presented a salute by reversing their arms and the bugler sounded the last post to pay tribute to their departed colleague.

Earlier, the Punjab Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr. S.R. Kler, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jaskaran Singh, SSP Jagraon, Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM Jagraon, Major Gurcharn Singh, Admn. Officer 17FAD, Mr Jagjit Singh Ghungrana, Chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, Dr Jarnail Singh and Subedar Gurdas Singh laid wreaths on the body.

A son of the late Joginder Singh, Naik Bhagwant Singh (31) had joined 12 Sikh regiment about 11 years ago and was the sole bread earner of his family. He leaves behind his mother Rajinder Kaur, wife Jagroop Kaur, 6-year-old daughter Harleen and 3-year-old son Arshdeep.


‘The end of the road’ in sight
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, June 15 — One of the busiest roads providing access to posh residential and commercial areas on the Pakhowal road from the Ferozepore Road side is closed for more than nine months now for the laying of storm-water pipes. Two conflicitng versions are being heard in the town regarding the progress of the work on the road. While residents and the traders affected by the construction work allege that the bodies involved in the work — the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) and the Municipal Corporation (MC) — have taken too long to complete the job, the bodies concerned deny the charge. They claim that the road will be ready by the end of this month — way ahead of schedule.

This 1.5 km stretch of the road was dug up to lay 4,300-foot long storm-water pipe at a cost of about Rs 54 lakh. Those who live along the road are angry and restless as the affected area, besides having many posh residential colonies, also has many commercial complexes and a reputed public school. The closure of the road for such long time has created many difficulties for them.

Traders, shopkeepers, employees and school children have to take longer alternative routes to reach their destinations. Vehicular traffic has also been diverted and persons avoid shopping in the area. Most of these shops have become out of reach even on foot. Persons living along the road are able to reach their houses only after passing through a maze of bylanes and streets. Many of them have to park their vehicles elsewhere.

Ms Neelam Dhanda, owner of a reputed boutique, says, "With the closure of the road, even our regular customers shop elsewhere and the business has suffered." The owner of a nursery, Mr Rakesh Sood, says, "Even if the road reopens, we fear that some of our customers may not come back." An entrepreneur who runs a computer-training centre in a commercial complex, said while the present batches of students had no choice but to stay for the period they had paid for, it had become difficult to attract new students. His prospective customers now choose centres located in easily accessible areas.

However, the two departments said instead of after the completion of stipulated a-year-and-a-half for the project, the road would be made open to traffic by the end of this month. Thus, the work would be completed within nine months after it had begun in October past year. Mr K.S. Momi, Superintending Engineer of the PWSSB, said, "We began work on the project in October past year. In the face of great difficulty in carrying out such mammoth excavation work in fully-developed localities, we completed it before schedule on March 31."

He said construction crews of the agencies put on the job had to tackle many problems like the underground telephone cables, water and sewerage lines. Telephone and electricity poles also hindered the excavation. "Sometimes, deep digging would lead to the ground water gushing out, flooding the excavated site and causing delays in laying of sewerage lines."

According to the Superintending Engineer (B and R) of the MC, Mr M.N. Sharma, the work on the road was in the final stages of completion. "A stretch from Sidhwan Canal to the octroi post on the Pakhowal road will be opened to traffic by the next week. Bitumen has already been laid on the surface in this portion and the premix carpet (PC) will be laid next," he said. He said at some places, the construction had been delayed because some electricity poles had to be shifted.

"However, the matter has been sorted out and the work is progressing smoothly," he said.

Mr Sharma also said a portion of road from Bhai Bala Chowk to the traffic lights was being layered. Although the road would be open to traffic by June 30, it would have water-borne macadam (WBM) on the upper surface.

The layers of bitumen and premix carpet would be laid after the rains were over, so that the compaction of layers could settle down and a good-quality road was available to the people.

The officials said once the storm-water drain was in place and a new road surface laid out, the people would soon forget these sufferings.



Tohra loyalists lambast Badal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) acting president, Thekedar Surjan Singh, has charged the SAD president and Punjab chief minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with creating dissensions within the Akali Dal ranks in order to benefit the Congress.

Referring to the expulsion of akali dal legislators owing allegiance to a former SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, he said the move would prove counter-productive and another obstacle in the way of akali unity.

Mr Thekedar said in a statement here today that unity among different akali groups was the need of the hour, but apparently Mr Badal had different ideas. In the absence of panthic unity, the akali factions would only split the votes and indirectly help the congress to stage a comeback in the next elections.

Any akali dal leader helping the congress in any manner would be doing a disservice to Punjab and its people because the erstwhile ruling party (congress) was responsible for the army action at akal takht and massacre of sikhs in 1984.

Terming the arrest of Mr Tohra in Chandigarh yesterday as a '''shameful act'', the SHSAD acting president compared Mr Badal with mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The ''power-drunk'' chief minister had forgotten the invaluable contribution made by Mr Tohra for the cause of sikh panth and had resorted to undemocratic methods to scuttle a protest organised by his party, he observed.


A treasure trove of rare manuscripts

During the days I spent in the local Government College (boys), I used to find refuge in the college library whenever I noticed my mind thirsting for knowledge. There I could dig deep into the past by leafing through the old classics. Or I could refresh my mind with the current best sellers. Later, when I retired from the department of English, I found the Punjab University Extension Library another treasure trove of old and new books. The place for me provided the solitude needed to fly ‘ on the wings of poesy.’ There I could sit for a long time on a study table to read as well as to write. Whenever I left the library after getting three or four books issued or re-issued, my scooter provided me in that state of my mind the raft on which I could sail through the madding crowds on the roads.

In 1992, when I had farewell to GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, where I had served for 5 years after my retirement, I was drawn to the Reference Library in Punjabi Bhavan, Ludhiana. Incidentally, the foundation stone of the bhavan was laid on July 2,1966 by Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India. The library had been in existence since long, but under the stewardship of Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, it received the form of a reference library in 1993. The slackness had gone and the dust that had settled on the books over the years was flicked off with a gesture of farewell. Henceforth, it could be the treasure house of rare manuscripts and out-of-print books. Earnest efforts were made to procure the theses from all the sources to enrich this library. Now it can boast of having 525 Ph.D. theses ad 850 dissertations on Punjabi language, literature and culture under its roof. Most of these have come from the personal libraries of the examinees and the examiners.

The highlights of the library are Janam-Sakhis (dating back to the 16th century) of Guru Nanak Dev and his companion Bhai Bala, centuries old Bhagvad Gita, the Balmiki Ramayana, the Tulsi Ramayana, the Yog Vashisht, the Mahabharata, the Hanuman Natak, the Adhiatmak Ramayana, the Puranas and the like. In the rare collection is the hand-written Sri Guru Granth Sahib — dating back to 1797 A.D.), which was donated by Dr Gurmukh Singh of Palampur. Ensconced in a glass case is the small Granth Sahib, which measures 3’’x4’’ and runs into 1430 pages. It has been donated by Prof Diwan Singh of Amritsar. In all there are 30,000 books in the library on various subjects such as language, literature, folklore, mythology, culture, history and religion.

An Urdu version of the Granth Sahib, rendered by Lala Har Krishan Lal, Bar-at-Law, was published in 1906, by Nawal Kishore Press, Lahore. It is now the treasured possession of this library. Another book that concerns the Ludhianvi dialect is based on the thesis of Dr Banarsi Dass Jain, which had been approved in 1926 by the University of London and published by Panjab University, Lahore, in 1934. Apart from these, there are hundreds of letters, mostly donated by Prof Pritam Singh of Patiala, which had been written by such literary luminaries as Principal Teja Singh, Dhani Ram Chatrik, Harinder Singh Roop, Ishwar Chitarkar, Dr Banarsi Dass Jain, Prof Sahib Singh, Prof Mohan Singh and Avtar Singh Azad. The contents of a good many many letters are of historic importance and the specimens of their handwritings evoke much interest in the younger generation.

This reference library is maintained by Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, which is an elected body. Elections are held after every two years for the posts of President, Senior Vice-President, General Secretary, five Vice-Presidents and 15 Executive Members. Day to day work is looked after by the General Secretary Dr Parminder Singh and the Executive Officer Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, who is also the Director of the reference library. The akademi has 670 members on its roll that take part in the election.

Year-long activities consist of the holding of literary seminars, discussions, award-giving ceremonies, book-releases, kavi darbars, drama festivals, cultural events and folk song and dance nights. Recently, the seminar hall has been renovated by Rana Gurjit Singh in the name of his father Rana Daljit Singh. The open-air theatre has been rechristened Balraj Sahni Rang Manch.

Indeed, the Reference Library is frequented daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm (except Sundays) by postgraduate students and those working on their doctoral theses. But the question arises as to why the citizens of this great city do not snatch some moments from their busy routine to have a stroll in ‘ the realms of gold’ off and on ? Undoubtedly, they need to have a look at their glorious past so as to be in step with the ever-shifting present and, in the process, prepare themselves for the bright future to which mankind is ever looking forward.Back


Delightful den for dating
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 15 — What M.G. Road is to Bangalore, South Extension to Delhi and Sector 17 to Chandigarh, Sarabha Nagar is to Ludhiana. Centrally located in the heart of Ludhiana, posh and, of course, the most modernised area of the city, the area is beautifully laid out and fulfills most of the practical requirements of children, youth, middle-aged and even elderly people. Young parents accompanied by tiny tots enjoy with the smiles on their kids faces.

But it is it's attraction as a dating spot which makes the place talk of the city. "I come here so that ladka log should see my beauty, "frankly admits Suzy (not her real name).

Hers is not a case in isolation as most youngsters coming to the place for a special 'appointment' or routine geri agree.

The majority of the youth say that it is the perfect place for dating. "The place provides a carefree, lively, and friendly atmosphere for dating," said a student who is a regular visitor to the market.

"The market really translates the inner feelings of the youngsters by providing quality fast food centres and ice-cream parlours, thus creating a very attractive atmosphere for dating young persons of both the sexes," said Rahul Sood who hails from Ludhiana and is studying at T.I.E.T., Patiala.

Ghansham 'Oni', a B.Com second year student said, ''Basically, I go there for a geri. So many young girls can be seen there, which gives a refreshing feeling. The girls can be followed easily as compared to the other congested areas like Ghumar Mandi."

Vikas, another B.Com student minces no words in saying that the boys come here only because they are given an encouraging 'lift ' by the fair sex. "See, girls at Sarabha Nagar give you a real response and meri mehnat safal ho jati hai," he claims.

Even the girls seem to relish being looked at. Bobby (not her real name) filled with enthusiasm and says, ''The evenings at the market are real hep. You come across with so many good-looking, smart boys who appreciate your beauty and way of dressing."

Naman, a BBA student from Arya College, says, "There are food joints like Kipps where you can easily chat with your girlfriend. Nobody gives you a sarcastic stare, that is nice about Sarabha Nagar market."

Deepika likes the market because there are so many food joints which are full of groups of guys. Some do not go for dating purpose only. There are youngsters like Shilpa, a 10+2 student from Sacred Heart Convent School, who visit the place for the colourful hustle and bustle it provides. "I go there because there is a lot of shor-sharaba and eye-catching things, which provides you with a fun-loving atmosphere," she says.

But the over-crowding and over-attraction seems to have caused some problems as well. According to Manasi, a 10+2 student, "Now-a-days, you cannot find decent crowd there. Eve-teasing is increasing and cheap comments are passed on girls."

For them, pai lago and hi baby are same
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — Meet the "I-me-my" generation — the youth of Ludhiana. They don't live in the past, have no regrets, lack guilt and are make their own choice.

They are bullish on life and rebels with a cause. Unlike the past, the youth of today set their own rules.

Attitudes have changed. They want to lead, instead of being led. One question that bothers the Ludhiana youth is how to make money. They equate success, happiness and fame with money and always look for the fastest route to "get there". They prefer to take shortcuts even in education.

However, traditional attires find an important place in their lives. The Ludhiana youth are equally comfortable with pai lago and "hi baby". They know what they want and how to get it. They employ tact instead of tantrums to deftly make their way around tradition.

They are also known for their never-say-die spirit. Life is meaningless for them without laughs and smiles and they like to enjoy life to the fullest.

They try to make the best out of what the town has to offer. It is cool to hang around. If it is only for a geri, Sarabha Nagar or Ghumar Mandi will do. If it comes to shopping, Mall is the favourite place. They zap and zoom in their latest-model cars to flaunt their new possessions. Money is not a luxury, but, a habit for such persons.

Governed by the here-and-now attitude, their loyalty to anything, be it a relationship, brand or a place, is fleeting. They may eat a chicken dosa at Hot Breads and a pizza at Wimpies. They may relish a hot-chocolate fudge at Cremica or Basant or take a scoop of Baskin Robbins. Playing pool is the in thing these days here.

They may shake a leg at Las Vegas and Wild Shot or drive down the university campus — it depends on their mood. Untill their jeans fit well and their kameez have the right slit, all is wel1l with the young on campus or elsewhere in Ludhiana.

The Ludhiana youth are everywhere in the world because the Ludhiana youth are second to none.Back


Animal lovers to adopt ducks
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The fate of 50-odd ducks living in a small insufficient enclosure of the Nehru Rose Garden in spite of their shifting orders a year back has almost been decided.

Sources reveal that the Municipal Corporation here, in consultation with the People For Animals organisation, has agreed in principle that the ducks be allowed to be adopted by private parties for use as a domestic animal. The ducks will be given to only animal lovers who desire to keep the animal as a pet and not for any other use. The price, if any, and other formalities will be decided shortly.

Mr Sandeep Jain, President of PFA, said they had given two offers to the MC — first either to provide better enclosures to the ducks at the garden itself or second to allow it for adoption to persons. Mr Dilip Kumar, Additional Commissioner, confirmed the agreement and said an oral agreement has been reached at. He added that the MC would first verify the credentials of the party offering adoption as misuse of the ducks was quite possible.

Interestingly, Ms Maneka Gandhi, Union Social Welfare Minister and a well-known animal lover, also rang up the MC authorities and the activists of the PFA about the issue of the ducks. Sources disclosed that her interest had expedited the solution process. Sources said Ms Gandhi had received a number of complaints from concerned citizens.

Mr Dilip Kumar said the corporation had an open mind on the issue and was holding consultations with the PFA activists over proper rehabilitation of the ducks. He said the MC was not taking a hasty decision as it could affect the health of the ducks.

Mr Sandeep Jain said as the ducks did not come under the Wildlife Protection Act, no one could have objection to the adoption move. According to him, it was lesser known fact the ducks were even better guards than dogs. The animal raises a loud quack-quack sound as a stranger approaches. It can also injure an intruder with its sharp beak. 


Gurcharan Singh resumes charge
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15 — Dr Gurcharan Singh has resumed charge as Chief Agricultural Officer, Ludhiana. He has been serving the farming community for the past 36 years in the Department of Agriculture, Punjab, in various capacities.

He said there would be no scarcity of fertilizers, seeds and pesticides in the district. His major aim would be quality control of farm inputs. He also insisted upon diversification of farming and also highlighted the disadvantages of early sowing of rice and depleting ground water level.

His future projects include farm training camps to educate and spread latest information technology to the farmers. Dr Singh laid emphasis on regulating integrated pest management programme in the district, checking soil and water pollution and conserving natural resources. 


Stinking garbage dump makes life hell
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15— Residents of Block- I of the posh Sarabha Nagar area of the city are a harassed lot due to lack of proper cleaning done by the Municipal Corporation.

A heap of garbage near a park and shops in the block is not only an eyesore but also a breeding ground for germs and bacteria kinds. The stinking smell emanating from the pig-infested site makes it difficult to even pass through the site let alone live near it.

The residents complained to The Tribune that they had requested the MC authorities several times to clean the area regularly but to no avail. They said so sharp is the smell that houses close to the garbage dump cannot operate their coolers as they throw in the polluted air.

A visit to the area revealed that while the corporation had placed a garbage bin near the park but still litter and garbage was strewn all around. In fact, servants of the residents are to be equally blamed for the menace as they were not dumping the domestic waste in the bin. On being asked, residents said that the servants who were throwing the garbage packed in polythene bags were from adjoining colonies.

They said a few months ago, the roads of the area were constructed and the debris was collected at one place near the block which has still not been lifted.


Shooting of serial ends
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The shooting of Ghuggi Express, a stand-in comedy talk show on air at Alpha Punjabi, concluded at Malhotra Palace here yesterday. Sukhwant Dhadda, the director of the serial, has also made popular television serials like Kanyadaan, Itihaas, Swabhiman.

Sukhwant said the concept of the talk show was to bring the interviews of the celebrities in a different way.The host of the show Gurpreet cracks jokes in between the show and gives it a funny appearance. Sukhwant Dhadda, born and brought up in a village near Jalandhar, feels emotionally attached to the soil of Punjab. He has also made many good films like Ek Chadar Maili Si, Antim Nyay and Siyasat. Lori and Ghuggi Express are the two serials of Sukhwant which are on air on Alpha Punjabi.

Preet Mangat, Project Co-ordinator, said, “We do not only stick to film celebrities but take people from different fields like literary, sports, journalism, acting and others. We have interviewed a whole lot of celebrities like Surjit Bindra, Jassi, Hans Raj Hans, Ranjit Kaur, Paramjit Sidhu, Manmohan Warris, Sardool Sikandar, Amar Noori and many others. He also informed that they intended to interview prominent personalities like Sunil Dutt, Gurdas Mann and Amrita Pritam.


Inadequate irrigation facilities irk BKU
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has decried the inadequate irrigation facilities which were adversely affecting the paddy planatation in many parts of Punjab.

The BKU president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, said in a statement here today that farmers in the districts of Ludhiana, Moga and Ferozepore, fed by the Sidhwan canal, were not getting sufficient water to irrigate their fields. The canals in these areas had not been desilted for a long time with a result that water discharge was low.

Erratic power supply even when paddy plantation was at its peak had added to the misery of the farmers, Mr Lakhowal added. Charging the PSEB authorities with indifference and apathetic attitude, he said, frequent trippings, burnt out transformers and delayed rectification of faults were a routine. Even minor complaints were not attended to for a long time.

He called upon the state government to streamline the working of both the PSEB and the canal departments to provide relief to the farmers.


Housewife raped
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15 — A housewife is alleged to have been raped at her house in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar by Rajinder Prasad around 9.30 a.m. on June 12. A case under sections 376 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at Focal Point police station.

Bid to kill: The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against two persons, Ranjit Singh and Mewa Singh, at Chuhal Jhuggar Kadan village under sections 304 and 34 of the IPC. It is alleged that the accused tried to strangle Mohammad Punu.



7 booked for assault on Satish Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The police has booked seven persons for an assault on a shopkeeper, Satish Kumar, under sections 307, 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC, though no arrests have been made so far.

The police has booked Deepa, Satyajeet, Bickey, Sanjiv Kumar, Prince, Pradeep Kumar and Suraj for allegedly attacking and injuring Satish Kumar with sharpedged weapons around 3 p.m. at Mata Rani Chowk on June 13. Satish Kumar was seriously injured and is presently undergoing treatment at the DMC.

It is learnt that the police had earlier booked all the accused under sections 308, 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC, but a deputation of the people from Chowni Mohalla today met the DSP (City), Mr Sandeep Goel, and pleaded that since the motive behind the attack was to kill the victim, the police book them under section 307 of IPC. It was then that the police booked them on the charge of attempt to murder.

Scooter stolen: A Bajaj Chetak scooter belonging to Parminder Singh was stolen from outide Pahwa Hospital on June 14. A case under section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Attempt to rape: The Sudhar police has registered a case against Inderjit Singh Jatt, who allegedly attempted to rape a Muslim girl at Halwara village on June 11. It is alleged that while the girl was passing in front of the accused's fields, he tried to forcibly pull her inside his house, but she managed to escape.

The police has arrested the accused and registered a case under section 354 of the IPC. 


Pepsi 'under-the-crown' winner gets a Corsa
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 15 — The Pepsi Franchise Director, Mr Tanmay Vats, and the Chairman of Pepsi Franchise Dhillon Kool Drinks, Mr Kewal Dhillon, today presented an Opel Corsa car to the winner of the Pepsi "I'll Change the Century" Under-the-Crown promotion to Mr Ravinderjeet Singh Arora.

Ravinderjeet, who owns a departmental store in Amritsar, was presented with the swanky new car at a function here in the presence of happy family members.

"It is a once in a life-time opportunity," said the winner. Mrs Shelly Arora, had no words to explain her happiness. "But yeh dil mange more," she added.

Relating his experience, a beaming Ravinderjeet Singh said, "The Pepsi bottle was in fact opened by my four-year-old daughter Aashna in my presence and we were extremely delighted after we realised that there was a big prize under the crown. But I received the letter from Pepsi informing me about the prize on April 1, and initially though it was an April Fool's joke. That being a Saturday, I could get the confirmation about the prize only after 48 hours"

To create excitement around the millennium, Pepsi had organised the "I'll Change The Century" Under-the-Crown promotion in over 100 cities in the country during September-November, 1999. The promotion branding and advertising reflects the desire of the youth to live life on their own teams and take control of their own life and events.

"Pepsi was born in Punjab and it is befitting that the first prize winning bottle was opened by a resident of Punjab itself," said Mr Dhillon.

The promotion had an Opel Corsa car as the first prize, 100 Nokia-3210 cell phones and 10,000 Pepsi calculators as the second and third prizes, respectively. As part of the promotion, one million free Pepsis were also given to the consumers for all crowns bearing Y2K under them. This was also valid for fountain Pepsi where a scratch card was made available with each 300ml Pepsi at every fountain Pepsi outlet.

Pepsi has always tried to connect with the youth through various innovative promotions. Pepsi has just launched the 'Number Lag Gaya' Under-the Crown promotion through which consumers can win millions of rupees.

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