Saturday, June 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ASI, 3 others booked in murder case
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Arjun Singh has been booked by the Salem Tabri police on the charges of abetment to suicide, threatening, criminal trespassing and violence resulting in injuries. Three other persons, Mr Jaswant Singh, his son Sukhjinder Singh and Lakhbir Singh, alias Lakha, have also been booked in this case on similar charges.

According to information available from police sources, all the four accused allegedly picked up a man and his 13-year-old daughter early morning today from their residence on Jassian Road and subjected them to physical torture before letting them off. Humiliated at the experience, the girl, Raji, committed suicide and her body was found hanging in her house around 9 a.m., while her father, Pyare Lal, a labourer in a factory, had gone out to muster support from a few friends and his employers against the four accused for the duo's humiliation a few hours ago.

It is learnt that the trouble between the two families began earlier this month when Mr Jaswant Singh's 17-year-old daughter, Jasbir Kaur, eloped with Abdul Razak on June 3. Her family accused their daughter's friend, Raji, who was their neighbour of introducing Jasbir Kaur to Abdul Razak and also for helping her to elope. Even though the girl came back on June 14, her family allegedly never forgave Raji. It is also alleged that the girl had been in Mumbai all through her elopement and after a few quarrels with her beau, she came back.

It was then that the male members of Jasbir's family hatched a plan to teach Raji and her father a lesson. Mr Jaswant Singh, his son Sukhjinder Singh and Lakhbir Singh hatched a conspiracy in connivance with ASI Arjun Singh. The four accused then went to the house of Raji at around 3 a.m. and asked the father-daughter duo to come out.

Seeing a police officer with their estranged neighbours, the two came out and were then taken to the house of the accused where they were allegedly beaten up for more than half an hour. It is alleged that ASI Arjun Singh was in a state of intoxication.

After this humiliation, the duo walked back to their house and Pyare Lal reportedly left his daughter alone in the house at around 5 a.m. to go to the factory where he worked and ask a few of his colleagues to help him out.

It was around 9 a.m. that the neighbours of the girl discovered her hanging in one of the rooms in the house. The police was summoned and a police party led by the SHO of Salem Tabri police station, SI Jasbinder Singh, reached the spot.

Interestingly, one of the prime accused, Mr Jaswant Singh, came forward to meet the police party and began expressing concern over the girl's death. It was then that Pyare Lal reached home and on being told of his daughter's suicide told the police about his humiliation a few hours ago.

While the accused ASI is still on the run, the police is believed to have caught the other accused and a case under sections 306, 452, 506 and 323 of the IPC has been registered against all the accused. Back



Industry-PSEB standoff hardens
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — The current standoff between the Punjab industry and the state electricity board over the move for a hefty hike in the power tariff shows no sign of resolution. If anything, there has been a noticeable hardening of stand on the part of the industry in recent days.

While the PSEB has sought to justify the proposed hike in view of dire financial straits in which the board finds itself and has sought the approval of the Punjab Government for an upward revision of the power tariff for all categories of the consumers, the industry maintains that the board itself is responsible for its present financial mess. Therefore, there is no reason why it should try to pass on to the industry the fallout of its own failure to manage its affairs.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr S.S. Chawla, Mr H.S. Nanda, Mr Chanan Singh Matharoo, Mr G.L. Pahwa along with a host of other leaders of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) representing the trade and industry of Punjab made it clear in an interaction with media here today that the solution to the board's financial problems lay in setting its own house in order by shunting out surplus staff, cutting down on wasteful expenditure, cracking down on corruption and above all, discontinuing with free power supply to the agriculture sector.

Mr Pardhan said although the board had claimed that its populist sop to the agriculture sector did not cost more than Rs 937 crore, calculations carried out by the CICU showed that the board was supplying 8200 million units to the agriculture sector which, at the rate mentioned by the board, totalled Rs 2,090 crore. Of this, the state government was compensating the board by just Rs 300 crore. Little wonder, the board was hard put trying to make both ends meet.

By the PSEB chief's own admission, the board was overstaffed to the extent of 30,000 employees. They should be shown the door, either through a golden handshake or retrenchment.

Mr Pardhan said the board had calculated the cost of power per unit at Rs 3.53 per unit which was disputed by the industry at a meeting held last week with the PSEB officials in Chandigarh under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The Chief Minister then constituted a Tariff Sub-Committee consisting among others of Mr Pardhan, Mr D.S. Chawla, Mr Chanan Singh Matharoo, Mr Amarjit Goel, Mr R.C. Bhatia, Mr Avinash Arora, Mr I.M.S. Grewal, Mr G.L. Pahwa , Mr S.P. Oswal and Mr Harish Khanna.

The committee disputed the cost figures put forth by the board, at which Mr Badal directed the board to provide the relevant data to the committee. The said data was supplied by the board to the members of the committee on June 12 which was studied at a meeting held the next day at the CII office in Chandigarh.

The Tariff Sub-Committee, after a thorough scrutiny of the board's figures, found the cost of power calculated by the board to be excessive. While the board had claimed the cost to be Rs 3.53 per unit, the committee calculations showed it to be Rs 2.48 per unit.

The Tariff Sub-Committee submitted its report to the Chairman and Members of the PSEB wherein power sale price was calculated to be Rs 2.48 per unit after taking into account the transmission and distribution losses. The board later admitted the figures to be correct i.e. Rs 2.48 per unit whereas the industry had been paying Rs 2.60 per unit.

Mr Pardhan said that corruption, inefficiency and wrong distribution were other factors which had increased the losses of the board. "If the commissioning of the Thein dam had been delayed because of the substandard work carried out by the board engineers why should the industry be penalised. Similarly, there has been a delay in the commissioning of the thermal power unit at Lehra Mohabbat because of a major fault. Who is to blame? Board engineers or the industry of Punjab? All these delays and failures have been adding to the cost of power supplied to the Punjab consumers."

The Punjab Government should also constitute the State Electricity Board Regulatory Authority as has been done by 11 other states of the country which should evaluate and implement the power tariff. The Chief Minister should consider the report of the Tariff Sub-Committee by reposing full confidence in is findings and not be misled by the wrong figures provided by the board to justify the hike. The distribution system should be privatised to eradicate corruption in the field.

He also took a strong exception to the campaign launched by the PSEB Engineers Association to justify the proposed hike.

He pointed out that the employees of the board who were primarily responsible for the present mess in the PSEB had no business to speak on this issue. "Where were they when the board decided, at the bidding of the government, to supply free power to the agricultural sector?" he asked.


Here parking space is aplenty
Multi-storeyed parking complex at MC office
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, June 16 — In this industrial megapolis, with the prolific growth in the population and in the number of vehicles, one thing that is hard to get is adequate and safe place for parking. The problem is more acute in old city where most of the business activity is still carried out in narrow and congested lanes, overcrowded and haphazardly developed markets and modes of transportations of goods in wholesale and other markets still being cycle rickshaws, push carts and mule carts.

It was with the idea of providing sufficient parking place to shopkeepers and visitors to major commercial centres like Chaura Bazar, Daresi Road, Old Sabzi Mandi, Bhadaur House and other adjoining wholesale markets that the municipal corporation took up the unique project of a multi-storeyed parking complex, first of its kind in the region, at the site of old municipal committee building, just overlooking the new MC complex.

The parking facility in the complex is open to public and will be formally inaugurated by the Punjab local bodies minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, on Sunday.

Conceived in 1996 by the then commissioner of MC, Mr S.P. Singh, the design of the multi-storeyed parking complex, constructed at a cost of Rs 12.90 crore, was selected through an all-India competition for architects and the design submitted by V.K.Bansal Associates of New Delhi met the approval of the MC authorities, informs Mr D.K. Sharma, executive engineer (b and r), of the civic body.

The entire stretch around the seven-storeyed parking complex, including the entry and exit points, has been tastefully landscaped, all with fountains and decorative lights. The complex, having a capacity for parking 435 cars and another 620 two-wheelers, is equipped with a public address system, double ramp for vehicles up to the seventh floor, a comprehensive fire-fighting system, a fire escape and two lifts for the people who will park their vehicles here.

In addition to provisions for a snacks bar, the rooftop (seventh floor) is being done up with beautiful roof garden, water fountains and a restaurant in order to make the facility more attractive to the visiting public.

"It is another step ahead towards better city management," observed Mr Sharma. "when we impress upon the members of public to park their vehicles at designated places and not to obstruct the flow of traffic by parking along roadsides or busy markets, we have to provide such a facility in the first place."Back



Cops helpless as ‘adult’ Net sites thrive
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — They are a voyeur's delight and a moralist's nightmare. A horde of uncensored 'adult' dotcoms have flooded the Internet, providing easy access to all kind of the otherwise 'forbidden' peeps into the erotic world of lewd pictures, pornography and the new 'intimate talks' (read e-mails ).

While the police in any town, city or district regularly carry out raids on book shops and rehris, especially near the bus stands and railway station and after confiscating adult books and magazines, makes claims of protecting the young generations from such 'aberrations', no outcry has been made against these web-sites so far.

The government at the local, state and national levels also routinely passes orders for confiscation of the freely available pornographic magazines, pasting of obscene posters on walls and stopping the screening of adult movies. But any action against a porn-site is unheard of.

The 'morality police' of our country is also all the time keeping a tab on the expression of moral values in movies and literature and stops anything which crosses the line demarcated by their culture. The Censor Board also makes its presence felt whenever it classifies something as 'dangerous' for the generation-Y.

But every such prohibited thing is just a mouse-click away at the Internet. So, the next time you see somebody glued to the computer screen, don't assume that the much hyped information gateway is providing the latest knowledge highly required to survive in this competitive world. For, it can be one of the porn sites keeping him hooked for hours altogether.

Internet experts reveal that the hit-rate of such sexually explicit web-sites is far more than the others. In fact, the popularity graph is rising so rapidly that an innumerable number of these dotcoms are coming up daily. The wide-ranging subjects offered include much more than what one finds in men's magazines like the Playboy, Fantasy and Debonair etc.

Log in to this 'exciting for some and dirty for others' world. Apart from the usual Western babes, one can even view Bollywood actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Kajol, Sushmita Sen, Sonali Bendre among others in 'their birthday suits'. Those who missed the old beauties like Hema Malini and others can also surf these sites. The catch here is that only the face of these heart throbs of millions is real while the 'remaining' belongs to some other model, mostly western. Here too one finds it strange that no actress has so far raised a banner against such use of their faces. Regular readers may remember the controversy generated by an upcoming model few years back when one advertisement company using computer technology had released her nude advertisement even though she had 'modeled' in bikinis.

Then, there are heaps of web-sites offering adult-oriented or sexually explicit stories, messages and nude pictures of beautiful models in intimate poses. There are also many crossing even the XXX rating.

Interestingly, the web-site owners have not ignored women. A large of sites offering 'women erotica ' are also on the rise.They offer nude men, erotic stories and even intimate poses of male celebrities.

The gays have also their own sites. It includes nude pictures, video and chat. A number of other sites, including Information of the Western Association for Nude Recreation or other organisations of the Naturists and Nudists, are also popular.

The sites start with a warning that only persons above the age of 18 can view the contents. But only a few of them demand verification of age by asking for one's credit card number. Still , there are others who charge meagre fee of few dollars for annual subscription and downloading of pictures.


Homely atmosphere away from home
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 16 — The paying guest culture that was synonymous with cities like Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai till a few years ago, is finally making its presence felt here due to lack of hostel facilities.

The girls studying in different colleges and working in offices coming from outer areas have a problem to find accommodation in the city. The St Mary’s hostel provides a cordial and homely atmosphere to the girls staying there.

The charges of the hostel are Rs1500 per month per head, inclusive of rent and mess charges. For air-cooled rooms, Rs150 per head, are charged and extra cots, tables and chairs are also provided to the students and inmates.

The hostelers, are safe as there is complete supervision on the entry of any outsider. The girls are secure because the director of the hostel has his house on the hostel premises. The entrance is only through one gate, which is guarded by a watchman.

There is a provision for 80 girls in the hostel, with 40 rooms and two sets of bathrooms and toilet at each floor. Accommodation in a room is shared by two girls. Girls are provided with telephone and medical facility. First-aid is provided whenever needed and in emergency they are taken to nearby hospital. The girls stay as a family in the hostel and are taken to watch movies and on outing for entertainment once in a month. At present, 36 girls are staying in the hostel.

Social worker, Mr Surinder Paul Gogna, is the Director of the hostel. He says, ‘’The hostel was started in early 1990, when Dr Ravinder Kochar, Principal, Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic College, approached me for the hostel facilities for their girl students and kept the girls in his hostel till the hostel came up.

He also accommodated the students of Guru Nanak Dev Homoeopathic College for few years. Then we started taking working girls and provided accommodation to all the girls seeking admission in various colleges and other professional institutes.’’

Before keeping girls on the hostel premises, he used to keep only the students of St Mary Senior Secondary School. The girls are provided with proper meals at proper times. In the morning, they are provided with breakfast and are also given packed lunch whenever necessary.

Wife of Mr Gogna, Ms Rajni Gogna keeps a vigilant eye on the girls and prevents the girls from carrying out any malpractices. If any inmate creates any, she is given a warning and then her parents are informed. Talking to this correspondent, the inmates emphasised that this hostel provided them with homely environment far from their homes. Amandeep, doing B.Ed, says, ‘’This hostel provides us security from anti-social elements in the city. We feel secure on the hostel premises.” Jagdeep, girl from Barnala, says the food problem is solved here. “We have no tension of lunch or dinner and the best part is that we get packed lunch for our day”.

Another girl working in a factory says, ‘’ The owners of the hostel are very co-operative with the girls and change the menu if we ask them to do so.” But there were some girls who had complaints about the meals. They said the food sometimes was not up to the mark but normally it was fine. Thus this is the only hostel which offers accommodation to working girls in the city. 


Ludhianvis say it with flowers
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 16 — Saying it with flowers is a rage among rich Ludhianvis. Though spring is over, the demand of flowers has not decreased. In this scorching heat, these colourful creations of nature give all a refreshing and soothing feeling. Flowers are also an effective way of expressing ones' feelings, a reason why these are popular among young generations.

Florists of the town offer flowers as fresh as those in any garden. According to the owner of Gee-Gee Florists at the Pakhowal road, roses, carnation, gladulas, tip-roses and lilies remain in demand throughout the year. Young persons remain their most regular customers.

While local growers supply flowers to florists here for the rest of the year, farmers in Banglore, Delhi and Solan feed the trade in these hot months. Green Nursery at the Pakhowal road has many varieties of roses, carnation, balsom, celosia and cockscom. Its owner, Mr Rakesh Kumar Sood, says, "The produce in our farmhouse fulfills the need usually, but, sometimes in summers, we bring flowers from Bangalore, Delhi and Solan."

Though the demand for flowers remains throughout the year, the business gets a good response on special occasions. Amit Sood of Green Floritech says, "We get good business on occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Children's Day. However, flowers are bought everyday to be presented on birthdays, marriages and parties."

Mr Gurinder Pal Singh, another florist, says that roses remain the all-time favourite. His shop, X'pression, at the Sarabha Nagar road sells all kinds of flowers, depending on the demand. People of all age-groups visit this shop. According to him, with the state government and the Centre encouraging diversification of agriculture, floriculture has got a boost. The interest of people in saying it with flowers has also helped in the growth of the business.


Computer culture invades city
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, June 16 — With computer prices falling to an all-time low, they are fast becoming a necessary household item. With a wide-ranging instalment schemes offering loan at ''zero per cent interest'', people of even weaker sections of society can gladly afford to have a PC in their study room.

Mr Paramjit S. Juneja, dealing in HP computers, says: "Two years ago, the sale of computers was progressing at a snail's pace but now the sale of home PCs has shot up by as much as 60 per cent. People are going in for a full-fledged multi-media kit along with a modem and an internet connection. With scanners becoming cheaper, 50 per cent of these people are also going in for the accessory with an aim to send photographs of their kids to their relatives staying abroad."

One main utility of a PC at home is sending e-mails. Mr Kamaljit Dhillon, who has his son and daughter in Canada, says: "The sole use of my computer is to keep in touch of my children. Earlier it used to be a month before we used to get their letters, and the phone calls are quite expensive. But the computer has allowed daily interaction."

For Mrs Parveen Pruthi computer is a means of learning and source of entertainment. "I am a housewife with very little exposure to outside world.''

Computer has once again stimulated my intellectual power. Earlier kitty parties used to be the only means of entertainment but now with a PC and an internet connection I enjoy browsing the worldwide web."

Some people are also using computer for e-commerce. Sites owned by local web designers are quite user-friendly and drop the things at the door step. One of this kind is which offers car service, in addition to buying and selling old as well as new cars. This site is being used by several Ludhianavis.

Recently with the onset of summer break, Mrs Vineeta Kumar bought a PC for her only son. "In these days of intense competition, one has to be a master in computers.

I do not want my son to lag behind. This summer break will provide him sufficient time to practise computers," she says.

But Mrs Balwinder Kaur has one complaint, "since the day we brought a computer at home, my son is always hooked to it for playing games. He has started neglecting his studies and his result this time was poor."


Nepali charged with kidnapping minor
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — This could well be a case of family honour above everything else that has landed a young man in the police net. He has been charged with kidnapping and raping after being brought back to the city along with his beloved, a minor girl.

It is learnt that the police had booked a Nepali youth, Kishore Vishwakarma, on charges of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl on June 2. It was alleged that Kishore Vishwakarma, who was working in a factory here, had kidnapped the girl after sedating her from the gurdwara at Gau Ghat. The love-lorn couple then fled to Siliguri in West Bengal from where they were arrested by the Siliguri Police and later handed over to the Punjab Police party led by ASI Dharam Paul.

The two were brought to Ludhiana yesterday and a medical examination of the girl was done at the Civil Hospital today.

Kishore while talking to TNS, however, alleged that he had an affair with the girl for the last six months and that they had eloped with the consent of the girl. He expressed regrets that his beau had deserted him and got him booked in a case of kidnapping and rape allegedly under the influence of her family.

A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC had been registered at Police Station Division No.4.Back


20 bottles of illicit liquor seized
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — The police has arrested one person and seized 20 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. A case under sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered at Sadar police station against Abdul Razak, a resident of Sarpanch Da Vehra here.

Car stolen: A white Maruti car was stolen on the night of June 8 from in front of Basant Fast Food, near Fountain Chowk.

In an FIR registered at the police station Division No 5, it is alleged by the complainant, Sanjiv Garg, that his car was stolen from outside the fast food joint around 10.30 p.m. and the police had now registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

Man injured: Parkash Kumar was alleged to have been injured when a Punjab Roadways bus hit him while he was on his bicycle near Jandiali village around 8.30 a.m. on June 15.

The police arrested Nazar Singh, driver of the bus, and Karan Singh, but the two accused were later released on bail.

A case under sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of IPC has been registered.Back


PNB profits increase by 9.7 per cent
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 16 — Punjab National Bank (PNB) has achieved a net profit of Rs 408.14 crore at the end of March, 2000, registering a growth of 9.7 per cent as compared to the previous financial year. During the period, the capital and reserves increased to Rs 2,272.59 crore, up by 10.31 per cent, total deposits and advances stood at Rs 47,483 crore and Rs 22,572 crore, respectively, and capital to risk asset ratio was 10.31 per cent against the prescribed minimum of 9 per cent.

Elaborating on the highlights of the performance on the basis of final audited results, Mr P.N. Khurana, zonal manager of the PNB, said that during the year 1999-2000 the current deposit showed a growth of 12.2 per cent while the saving deposits went up by 16.2 per cent. The low cost deposits formed 45 per cent of total deposits during the year.

The ratio of priority sector (PS) advances to net credit improved further to 44.9 per cent, surpassing the national goal of 40 per cent. He said the response to the PNB's lending schemes for traders and professionals, consumer, housing and conveyance loans was very encouraging and an amount of Rs 1,150 crore was disbursed under these schemes.

According to Mr Khurana, the total income of the bank increased from Rs 4,993 crore to Rs 5,882 crore (17.8 per cent) with the interest income and the non-interest income (from commission, exchange and brokerage) registering a hike of 10.12 and 16.3 per cent, respectively. During the period, the total expenses also went up by 21.4 per cent at Rs 5,062 crore which included the payment of arrears to the staff on account of a wage revision. The ratio of the net NPAs to net advances was marginally lower at 8.52 per cent compared to 8.96 per cent at the end of March, 1999.

Mr Khurana informed that the bank had 4,236 offices, including 383 extension counters and 30 specialised branches to cater to the needs of the SSI, international banking, industrial finance and hi-tech agriculture.

In order to reposition itself in the competitive milieu, the PNB had undertaken a restructuring exercise. Towards this, the international consultants were appointed to review the structure, processes and systems of the bank to achieve the desired degree of competitive edge and the recommendations submitted by them had been taken up for implementation.

''The PNB is taking initiative to make forays in the new banking business like credit cards, insurance and gold," he said. The bank had also proposed to offer ''net banking'' at select centres to provide ''anywhere banking'' and for this purpose, connectivity between branches in the metros and important urban areas was being taken up.



Students learn to be bullish
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 16 — The Punjab College of Technical Education organised an inter-college Portfolio Management Game.

It gave management students a first-hand experience of the stock market and required them to manage their investments. Thirteen teams of various institutes like APEEJAY Institute of Management, the PIMT Gobindgarh, the SD College of Management and Technology and the PAU, Ludhiana, participated in the game. It was played over three-months-and-a-half from February 15.

A mock stock exchange was created for the game and each team was given Rs 1 crore in a mock exercise. This money was invested by the teams in various stocks by consulting The Economic Times for the actual prices. The results of the game were declared after comparing the total wealth of various teams on May 31, 2000. The teams of the SD College of Management and Technology won the first and third positions with a total wealth of Rs 6.5 crore and Rs 3.35 crore, respectively. The team of the PIMT Mandi Gobindgarh won the second position with a total wealth of Rs 5.33 crore.

D K.N.S. Kang, Director of the PCTE, said the game had given a lot of exposure to students in the management of their portfolios. He said the college would continue with this inter-college game in the coming session as well.

Dr N.K. Gupta, Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Technical University has formed a committee of the directors of four management institutes of Punjab to organise this game at the university level. Under the plan, an on-line trading facility will be provided to students and the university will award the winning teams.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |