Monday, June 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tandon favours end to free power for farm sector
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — A new dimension has been added to the ongoing controversy over the move by the Punjab Government to order a hefty hike in the power tariff with the Punjab BJP making it clear that it stood for a “rational increase” in the tariff for all categories of electricity consumers, including those in the agriculture sector.

The BJP’s stand on this ticklish issue which has put the Badal Government on the horns of a dilemma for more than two weeks now, was outlined by Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, who is also number two in the state Cabinet, during the course of an interaction with media here today. What Mr Tandon meant without saying it in so many words was that free power supply to the agriculture sector, which was being opposed tooth and nail by the trade and industry of Punjab as also the state electricity board, should be discontinued.

In reply to pointed questions, Mr Tandon said that he was also a member of the Cabinet subcommittee constituted by the Chief Minister last year to look into the question of mobilising additional resources for the cash-strapped state. He appeared to agree with a questioner that while the government had initiated a series of measures based on the recommendations of the subcommittee to raise additional resources, it seemed to be dragging its feet as regards the issue of discontinuing free power supply to the agriculture sector was concerned.

Mr Tandon said that the Chief Minister himself was the chairman of the Cabinet subcommittee which had unequivocally recommended discontinuance of free power supply to the agriculture. So he was quite aware of its recommendations and suggestions. He was sure that the government would take a rational view of the whole question and order a hike keeping in view the interests of all sections of the society.

The minister also complained in reply to a question that the Department of Local Bodies had not as yet been paid a sum of Rs 58.97 crore collected by the Excise Department last year as octroi on liquor. This money was badly needed for developmental activities in the towns and cities of the state. The concerned MLAs had already taken up this matter with the government. It had now been decided to open a separate account in the name of Director, Local Bodies, and have the money deposited into it directly.

Meanwhile, the Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers Association has strongly urged the state government to revise the power tariff immediately to prevent the board from financial bankruptcy.

In a statement issued here, Mr M.S. Bajwa, president of the association, warned that if no steps were taken to raise additional funds for the board, it would fall into the lap of the private sector. “ A rational revision of tariff is much overdue and it should not be postponed or diluted any more...”, he pleaded.

He claimed that the engineers of the board had done their best in managing the PSEB despite various constraints and ailments. The association was of the considered opinion that engineers could provide best service in Punjab if the present worn out distribution system was replaced in a phased manner and corruption could be reduced considerably if engineers and consumers forums worked jointly in this direction.

Accordingly, the association appealed to all sections of industrial consumers to cooperate in rational revision in tariff so that the power board was strengthened financially to serve the consumers to their satisfaction. It must be remembered that the board was spending Rs 6 crore to 8 crore in generation, transmission and distribution for one MW of power. In Punjab, the industry was being given best treatment as their connections were being released promptly whereas in agricultural sector, the waiting period was more than 15 years. Thus, the industry was getting the best power supply uninterrupted and free of power cuts. There was no reason why the tariff should not be revised to be at par with that in Haryana.

The association, however, countered the contention of the “industrial lobby” that the PSEB. was suffering financial losses due to inefficiency, corruption and losses. The association stated that there was a section of industrial consumers which had been indulging in theft of electricity and a large number of cases had been detected in the past. So much so that even electronic devices had been used by the industrialists to stop proper functioning of energy meters.

It was again the “industrial lobby” that stalled the move by the Punjab Government to set up police stations in important cities in the state to help the PSEB staff to book the guilty persons indulging in theft. These moves clearly indicated that the “industrial lobby” did not have a clean record and was pursuing policies of short term gains.

It was again strange that the “industrial lobby” was hesitant to pay the tariff at par with industrial consumers in Haryana. In case, this time also, the PSEB was forced to keep its tariff below that of the Haryana consumers, the board would become bankrupt in a very short time as its fund manager were finding it extremely difficult to arrange more loans from various financial institutions.

The present deteriorating position of consumer service was also due to acute shortage of funds, as for years together the old distribution system had not been changed in a phased manner and interruption of supply could not be reduced. It has been observed that each time a strong “industrial lobby” used the Punjab Government to influence the decision of the PSEB to make a rational hike in tariff for industrial consumers and the entire exercise became an eyewash.

The entire nation had witnessed this hard reality that the cost of generation of power was Rs 4.95 paisa per unit from ENRON project in Maharashtra in private sector. If the cost of transmission, distribution, losses and service charges were added, the cost at the consumer end would work out to be Rs 6.50. However, in public sector the cost of thermal generation at Bus-Bar was Rs 3 per unit and adding transmission losses to the tune of 20% and depreciation on transmission and distribution system and service charges the amount would work out to be Rs 4.50 per unit at the consumer end.

The association expressed its “shock and surprise” at the move of “industrial lobby” to throttle the board financially by not allowing it to take a decision on rational revision of tariff. The association is least interested in harming the interest of any section of the consumers and it has been raising its voice against free power to agriculture consumers. Now it is in the best interest of all sections of consumers to make the board financially viable by agreeing to a rational revision of tariff.

It was not clear why the “industrial lobby” in Punjab was opposing the rational hike in tariff despite the fact that it had availed itself of the advantageous position in paying much less power tariff in comparison to other states in the country. In the last three years, board could not revise its tariff rationally with the result that it had to depend heavily on loans from various financial institutions which had touched the level of Rs 4770 crores which has brought the PSEB. to the brink of bankruptcy.

Taking into account the other overhead expenditure, the net cash loss to the board would be to the tune of Rs 1300 crore. The board had fallen into a debt trap and it was a clear indication of financial insolvency. It was mere propaganda to say that by restoring tariff on agricultural consumers, the board would come out of the red. It must be understood clearly that the board was losing more than Rs 1050 crore by giving electricity to industrial consumers at cheaper rate. The association expected the industrial lobby to see the ground realities and agree to tariff revision at par with Haryana.Back


SAD(B)-BJP alliance wiped out 
in nagar panchayat polls
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The nagar panchayat elections in four towns of the district — Mullanpur, Malaud, Sahnewal and Machhiwara — held on Saturday proved a waterloo for the ruling SAD(B)-BJP combine, which received a severe drubbing. The candidates jointly put up by the two parties could win only 5 seats out of 50 wards in the four towns of the district.

On the other hand claims of the Congress of an upswing were amply substantiated as the party literally swept the polls in Malaud and Machhiwara, winning 10 seats each out of 11 and 13 at the two places, respectively. The Congress put up a good show at Sahnewal and Mullanpur Dakha as well, where it secured 6 and 4 seats, respectively.

That the senior SAD(B) and BJP leaders are going to have many sleepless nights in the immediate future is evident from the poor tally of the ruling alliance. In Mullanpur and Malaud, the two parties failed to open their accounts while 3 of its candidates won at Sahnewal and 2 others in Machhiwara. Sources in the two parties point out that more than its opponents, fierce faction fighting within the two parties and the SAD(B) in particular, affected the outcome.

What the ruling alliance activists refuse to accept is that the joint front, comprising the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra the Lok Bhalai Party led by former Union Minister Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, and the Left parties garnered the votes which went against Congress. The results are there for anybody to see and victory of 12 nominees put up by the joint front (8 in Mullanpur and 4 in Machhiwara) is a clear pointer towards the verdict posted by the electorate.

Buoyed over a victory beyond even their own calculations and projections, the Congress camp is jubilant. It has more than absolute majority in Malaud and Machhiwara and the party leaders are already busy in arriving at a simple majority in Sahnewal and Mullanpur. Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, M.P., claimed while talking to The Tribune that the Congress will be in control of all the four nagar panchayats. He said certain independents and dissident Congressmen had already approached the senior leaders and had assured their support in formation of the civic administration.

Barring some stray incidents of minor scuffles and reports of bogus voting at a few places, the polling passed off peacefully. “No untoward incident was reported from any town which went to the civic polls yesterday,” the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu informed.


  The revenue figures of the board for the current year are given below:
Debt. servicing (interest) Rs 620 crore
Re-payment of loans Rs 400 crore
Coal and freight charges  Rs 1750 crore
Cost of purchase of energy from Central sector  Rs 1000 crore
Establishment charges Rs 1000 crore
Total  Rs 4770 crore



First multi-storey parking complex
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, today formally inaugurated Ludhiana’s first multi-storey parking complex constructed in the heart of the city at a cost of Rs 12.90 lakh.

The complex, which is located close to the offices of the Municipal Corporation (MC), which also maintains it, can accommodate 430 cars, 700 two-wheelers and 500 bicycles. It is expected to prove as a boon to the congested old city area, especially the nearby Chaura Bazar which always remains clogged with vehicles.

According to the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Dr S.S. Sandhu, the idea of a multi-level parking complex was mooted by the MC about five years ago. The building complex consists of seven stories and a basement having modern facilities with provision of passenger lifts, vehicular hoist, fire-fighting system, spiral fire escape ramp, public address system and diesel generating sets for power backup.

It is a unique parking complex of its kind, being the tallest in the country and having 25,000 sq metres area spread over land measuring 13,500 sq metres with a large-sized restaurant and grassy lawns, fountain and restaurant at roof-top level from where one can have a bird’s eye view of the city.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tandon congratulated the Mayor and Commissioner of MC, Ludhiana, on the commissioning of the parking facility and said that this would a long way in raising the profile of the surrounding localities. The Mayor, Mr A.S. Grewal and Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Jagdish Loomba, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

The minister also commissioned the additional bridge constructed on Sidhwan canal on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. The existing bridge on Sidhwan canal at this site was inadequate to cope with the traffic on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

In order to give relief to the vehicular traffic at this site another bridge was envisaged. The bridge has been constructed by the Irrigation Department, Sidhwan canal circle, at a cost of Rs 67 lakh as a deposit work. The length of the bridge is 33 metres and it has a carriageway wide of 7.5 metres and footpaths (1.25 metres) on either sides. 


Is your doctor a commission agent?
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18—Beware of your doctor. He may prove to be not more than a commission agent of a diagnostic centre or of a big hospital specialising in heart or neuro-surgery, which have mushroomed in the city at a rapid rate. And do not hesitate to doubt your doctor when he recommends magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scan. Your doubts may have sound reasons, as most of these expensive tests prove negative.

A leading medical practitioner, refusing to be quoted for obvious reasons, revealed that between 50 to 70 per cent of patients who were recommended such expensive tests like MRI and CT scan were found to be normal.

Despite that the rate of these tests recommended daily by various doctors is increasing considerably. On an average 100 patients are recommended daily for either MRI or CT scan tests by various doctors. Not that none of them requires such tests. But not all of them do either. That is what is the common observation of a number of doctors TNS talked to.

An MRI test costs something between Rs 5000 to 8000, while a CT scan costs anything between Rs 1000 to Rs 2500. Whosoever recommends the tests gets his due commission varying from 20 to 50 per cent. The doctors pointed out, it is not long ago that MRI testing facility was introduced in Ludhiana. But not so many people required it then. How come, within a few years thousands of people need these tests. Besides the doctors, the patients are also to be blamed.

Probably due to a meticulous approach towards their health, people sometimes ask for such tests, no matter whether they need it or not. This obviously encourages the doctors also. But there are hundreds of poor unsuspecting patients, mostly from the rural areas, who are fleeced easily.

None of the 4 MRI and 8 CT scan centres in Ludhiana was prepared to furnish details about the daily number of imagings or scans it conducted. Proper records are reportedly not maintained to evade taxes or other inquires. An MRI machine costs about Rs 8 to 10 crore, which is not a small investment. Similarly, a CT Scan machine costs around Rs 1 crore.

Even if 10 MRIs were done on a single day that hardly gave you proper returns, an employee of centre said. However, he did not agree that doctors were referring such tests just with a motive to earn money.

It is not just the diagnostic centres which offer commission to the referring doctors. A number of hospitals and private nursing homes also do it. According to rough estimates, lakhs of rupees are paid as commission to various doctors every month in the city.

Referring an immigrant for such tests fetches a handsome commission. Hundreds of prospective immigrants planning to migrate to Canada and Australia are supposed to undergo various tests before getting a visa. The Canadian and Australian High Commissions in India have authorised a few doctors for these tests. The rates for such immigrants are said to be higher than those for the average patients, which obviously means more commission.

Some hospitals have been admitting privately that commission has become norm of the day. One leading hospital with an attached medical college has on record offered commission to the doctors for referring cases. While this hospital does it publicly, most others do it clandestinely.


Ex-servicemen must have say

Sometimes lack of unity among ex-soldiers is cited as a major reason for the decline in their welfare. But this is fiction rather than fact because if any factional activity takes place, it is primarily due to the apathy of the government concerned towards the ex-servicemen’s welfare.

However, the fact remains that political parties have established their own ex-servicemen’s cells and put pliable ex-servicemen as their figureheads with a view to undermining the activities of the NGOs due to the misplaced fear that united veterans may swing the votes during the elections against such parties.

The effort of some political parties is to render veterans helpless and voiceless so that they are compelled to remain at the mercy of their political clout. Such political parties do not comprehend fully the dangers of this approach because of their parochial and selfish politics. They forget that during the recent turmoil in Punjab due to militancy, these political parties completely abandoned their political role. It was the Indian Ex-Services League which came to the rescue of veterans and their dependents. The league exhorted the veterans to come forward and join police force which was starved of man power.

The government installations such as banks, electrical sub-stations and post offices came under militant threat. Roughly, 4,700 veterans came forward to join as home guards and SPOs to augment the police force. In this unique act of cooperation with the government the league not only reinforced the administration but also minimised the alienation of veterans.

Perhaps, some people for their vested interests underrate the moral power of veterans who are trained and well disciplined, and if rubbed on the wrong side, there is every likelihood of their going wayward. There have been many number of examples of police-militant encounters in which the ones who stood their ground to the last were ex-servicemen on both sides.

The league, of course, faces certain inherent problems which stand in the way of complete unity among ex-servicemen. The rank structure is the biggest hurdle. The most dedicated workers of the league are from the ranks of field officers or middle piece ranks. In these workers, the JCOs are particularly conspicuous and very hard working. They move about in the villages at their own expense and even attend meetings of the league at district headquarters or state headquarter at their own expense.

Most of the senior officers readily come forward for moral support but a few harbour a hidden desire to command by proxy and do not want to be subordinated even in a democratic dispensation. The second formidable problem is the dispersal of the veterans particularly in the rural areas. These two hurdles are insurmountable.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is an overriding need for properly looking after this population of veterans and their families. It is certainly in the national interest.

This most vital segment of society should not be allowed to be neglected and left at the mercy of various political touts who harass them and also fleece them. It should be tackled as a national problem. Some sort of mechanism should be devised under which certain representation is given to the ex-servicemen in the legislature.

The reservations for rehabilitating of ex-servicemen in the services already in force in the states should be monitored closely for effective implementation. Thirdly, political factors for nominations to the grievance committees, development committees and boards like state and district must be eliminated. In short, it must be ensured that veterans are able to play a constructive role in case of emergency anywhere in the country. This can be achieved if they feel secure socially and politically.


A clarification
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18— Dr S.P. Jagat, Zonal Deputy Director-cum-Medical Superintendent, ESI Hospital, Ludhiana, today clarified that the number of doctors who had been put on the transfer list by the government was 15 and not 35 as stated in the write-up which appeared in Ludhiana Tribune on June 14.

They included 10 doctors from ESI Hospital, Ludhiana, and five from 11 dispensaries. The government had not declared any posts of doctors surplus either during these transfers or before that.

“On the representation of the doctors under transfer, the government is presently reviewing the list. I, personally, expect that whatever inaccuracies have occurred will be rectified during the review. The doctors, affected by transfer, may be apprehensive on this score at the individual level and that is a natural phenomenon considering one's personal interest.”

“Effecting transfers is the prerogative of the government and is not a punishment. During the routine course discussions do take place at all levels and inputs are given to the higher authorities. And as far as making alternative arrangements for the proper functioning of all institutes under my charge is concerned, it is my duty and responsibility also. This is done keeping the larger public interest in mind. Whenever such things are needed to be done, will be done under these parameters with the knowledge and consent of the higher authorities”.


I have a unique style of singing, 
says Harbhajan Mann
From Shivani Bakhoo

LUDHIANA, June 18 — No comparisons please. Harbhajan Mann has a style of his own to sing and captivate his fans with his melodious voice. Mann is well aware of this, saying, “It is my own exclusive style of singing that gives me immense satisfaction and brings happiness to my fans. I don’t like to compare myself with others”. Harbhajan was here in the town recently for a performance at the South City.

Singing is a passion for Harbhajan. And this love seduced him back to his homeland, leaving behind prosperous Canada. “For a singer like me, singing remains the same”, he explains, adding that, “the recording systems may change and new trends may evolve over a period of time”.

If compositions are good and you get a good break then nobody can stop you, he asserts with confidence. By the grace of God your rise is imminent. It was in 1994 that Harbhajan returned to Punjab from Canada “only because I knew that my talent would be appreciated here and fortunately I proved to be right in my thinking.”

Though Harbhajan did not get any gharana training, formal training in music was given to him by Karnail Singh Ji Paras of Bathinda district in 1978. In fact he took training in Canada also by Hamid Ji and Balbir Singh Bhangu for three years. Although Harbhajan started with chithiye ni chithiye, which was his first album, he got the recognition from oye-hoye number only”. Since then, he never looked back.

Harbhajan does not give exclusive credit for his phenomenal success to himself alone, but to his entire team. “It is basically a team effort.

The lyrics by Babu Singh Mann and music by Jaidev Kumar provide richness to my singing”, he reveals. He respects famous cinematographer Manmohan Singh for being really helpful in promoting him. Harbhajan Mann is presently concentrating on his next album with T-series, which he considers very crucial.

He has to work hard for it. On asking about his future plans if given an opportunity to act in films, he replied, “definitely, if I will be offered a good proposal I can go into acting also”.

Today he feels great and proud about his achievements. His famous numbers include Lali lal dupatta lay kay ban gayee lal paree vargee... teri nachdi jawani and several others. He has also sung for Sunny Deol.

And now as a big brother he is also working to promote his younger brother Gursewak Mann’s career. He encourages him to work hard and establish himself as a good pop singer.


Ban on noise pollution sought
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 18  — Residents of the city, especially those living in the industrial areas, are sick of the noise created by loudspeakers and factories in their vicinity.

Mr Mohan Singh, a retired teacher and resident of Industrial Area-B, said the daily loudspeaker noise from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. was unbearable for him as he was a heart patient and suffering from diabetes and high-blood pressure. He did not know what to do about it or where to go to have some peace.

Mr Satya Pal Kalra (72), a resident of Industrial Area-A, has a similar grievance.

In his case, it is not a loudspeaker that worries him but noise of hammers from his neighbourhood.

Mr Kalra said, the hammers which operated round-the-clock, were producing a noise of 150 mega decibel as against the maximum of 75 mega decibles permitted by the Punjab Pollution Control Board. It is not possible to have a peaceful sleep in the continuous earth-shaking noise of the hammers, he said.

Mr Kalra has also written to the pollution control board and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation. In the letter, which has been duly signed by eight neighbours, Mr Kalra has cited the Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1981, and the Environment Act, 1986, which does not permit such unwarranted din.


Erosion of values among the youth
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, June18 — Erosion of values is one of the major concerns of today’s society. Values are eroding and Ludhiana is no exception. But a question — Right according to whom — stares the youngsters in the face. It is futile to think of a change in values that the guys and gals already possess, according to their own set rules and peer pressure.

Some people do not have stable relationships. They fall in love with every second person they meet. One such hot shot is Alok, who always lies to his girlfriend, when in fact he is two-timing or even three timing her, he admits without any scruples.

Traditional roles are being turned on their head. Guys and gals date each other, under the plea that they are just friends. The attitude of girls has also changed to a great extent. They have become more extrovert and outgoing to go in for relationships till they come across Mr Right.

Malini, a second year student, complains that the educated city youth blindly ape the West. They try the new ideas for all the wrong reasons. Their attitudes and lifestyle is unrelated to our tradition and culture, the later part totally debunked by the X-generation, she adds.

These young minds mostly choose unhealthy role models for themselves, says Amit Arora, who is on the verge of teenage. Such role models most of the time, are characters from Hindi masala movies. But when real life confronts reel life, maladjustment results.

The youth , here is not driven from within. They appreciate whatever lies in the external world, says Ms Veena Mehra. Purpose of life has changed for youngsters. Unlike the past, they ask which field has better scope, instead of dedicating their lives to something.

A hundred pair of eyes are on them when they try something unusual in public. It is because society does not accept it as a social norm, says Ms Vineeta Kheterpal. The situation is best concluded by Amrita and Bikram, MBBS students of Christian Medical College here. They remark, ‘‘the youth today party more and work less. In fact, they should work as much as least as they party.’’

But the insecurity and the escapist attitude of youth once their high-flying dreams get crashed, is the other side of the coin. The argument is whether the values and ideals evolved by the Indian civilisation over thousands of years are so weak that a mild breeze of consumerism has blown them to smithereens. 


Get clean air before chimneys’ smoke
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18  — It’s all for a whiff of fresh air. Hundreds of residents of this town flock to Punjab Agricultural University, Rose Garden or Rakh Bagh here everyday in the morning, not only to exercise, but also to breathe some clean air before the numerous factories and vehicles begin to cloud the atmosphere.

Activity at these places begins as early as three o’ clock in the morning, much before the dawn. It is good to see toddlers, children, the young, the old, obese, hefty and not-so-hefty trying to outdo the others in brisk walk.

An industrialist, Mr Manoj Gupta, who has been coming to the PAU for the past 20 years, says, “Early morning walk is the best way to begin your day. Brisk walk is a sedentary exercise which also freshens one up to fight the everyday work pressure. I prefer to visit the university for morning walk because it has a larger ‘clean and green’ area.”

Another regular morning walker at the university for the past ten years, Dr K.S. Sandhu, says, “How many persons can spare time and money to join health clubs. Morning and evening walks are free of cost, free for all and unlike the workouts in health clubs, can be taken at any convenient time.”

After a visit to these “hot spots”, the TNS found that these were not only favourites of walkers and joggers, but also of cyclists and rope-skippers. Besides this, karate and yoga classes are also organised at Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh. Persons can also be seen playing badminton and tossing frisbee here.

Most persons choose these places because they live in the vicinity. Those residing in Sarabha Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Gurudev Nagar, parts of Civil Lines, Haibowal and Kitchloo Nagar generally come to the PAU or Rose Garden for morning walk. Rakh Bagh is preferred by persons living in the old town areas. Rather, residents of these areas are seen at all three places. Ms Mamta Tangri, a resident of Daal Bazaar, says, “The old town areas generally lack sanitation and are also polluted. Coming to Rakh Bagh for a morning walk is a reprieve.”

Every morning, one can see rows of swanky cars and two-wheelers lined outside these places. Walks are also accompanied by business discussions or the usual society gossip. Mr Parminder Singh, an industrialist and an avid morning walker, says, “Here, one gets to know various rumours in the town, be these about the signing of a significant deal or the latest marketing strategy of a firm.”

However, as they say — different strokes for different folks — a lot of youngsters also consider morning walk an opportunity to look for a date. Anupriya, a college student who has been coming for morning walks to the PAU for the past year-and-a-half, says, “There are many youngsters who come here not only to keep themselves fit, but also to watch the crowd.”

A few years ago, the PAU authorities had decided not to allow any outsider to come here for a morning walk. Delegations of several city residents had then met the university Vice-Chancellor and had persuaded him not to impose such a restriction.


Flood prevention measures started
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The district administration here has initiated flood prevention measures on a large scale in the district. The Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Sandhu, launched the campaign along the Sutlej, to be completed by June 30 at a cost of Rs 2.48 crore.

Keeping in view the coming rainy season, all embankments along the Sutlej will be permanently strengthened on a war footing.

The Deputy Commissioner along with other officers of the drainage, development and revenue departments inspected the work being carried on along the embankments. He said, 35 sites had been identified and work had been initiated. Of these, work on eight sites has already been completed.

Mr Sandhu also met deputations from various villages who sought flood prevention measures in their areas. He directed the officers of the Drainage Department to include more works at Mattewara and Kassabad.

He informed that Madhepur was the most dangerous point where permanent works were being carried out at a cost of Rs 80 lakh followed by Dhulewal, costing Rs 35 lakh, Kassabad 25 lakh and Ghuman Rs 20 lakh.

During his visit, the Deputy Commissioner also listened to the views of villagers along the embankments about the flood prevention measures and issued the directions accordingly. He asked the Police Department to set up police posts with wireless sets at all vulnerable points.

The DC asked the Forest Department officials to carry on massive plantation drive along the embankments to strengthen them further. He said that all the departments had been asked to be prepared for any emergency.

Among others who accompanied the Deputy Commissioner included the ADC(D) Mr Tejvir Singh, SDM(E) Mr Kuldip Singh, SDM Samrala Arun Sekri, Gurjeet Singh of the Drainage Department and Mr S.S. Bhatti SP Traffic.


Seminar on ‘Culture of peace’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, an international, non-political, socio-religious organisation has been registered as messengers for the Manifesto-2000 by UNESCO, an organ of the United Nations Organisation.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, presided over the launching seminar on ‘Culture of peace’ here today at international headquarters of the study circle. ‘Medi Sewa’, a journal of directorate of social and health services, was also released by Mr Sandhu.

The UNO has proclaimed 2000 as International Year for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. The signature campaign was started here. Mr Jatinderpal Singh, Deputy Chief Organiser, exhorted the members to participate with full devotion and dedication in this international movement for world peace in the light of universal welfare ideology of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mr Gurmit Singh, Chief Secretary, of the study circle, says that 186 international organisations are working worldwide in this field and the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle is one of them.

Delivering a special lecture on this occasion, Prof. Sarabjit Singh, Assistant Professor of Journalism, PAU, says that we can’t stop conflicts but can certainly master the art of solving conflicts through negotiations, mutual understanding and thereby eliminating violence. A strong movement for peace is an imperative need of the hour. True spirituality is the best solution for spreading the culture of peace. He added that the journey from culture of violence to culture of peace is possible through peace in mind; peace in family; peace in society and by achieving victory over vices.

Principal Ram Singh, Chief Organiser of the study circle, says that it is a privilege for the organisation to participate in the international movement. The study circle has already done a noble service in this respect but the sponsorship offered by the UNO for various projects will definitely give a boost to the working of the circle, he added.



Conman arrested
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — Conman Vinod Kumar Jain, who had allegedly duped various businessmen in the Chaura Bazaar area by claiming to get their money back from another businessman who had fled after taking their money in committees, allegedly through paying up several bigwigs in the police department, has been arrested by the police under Sections 107 and 51 of the Cr.PC. and 420 of the IPC.

Liquor seized: The police seized more than 16 bottles of illicit liquor in two separate incidents. While 7 bottles of illicit liquor has been seized from Sukhdev Singh, alias Kaka, nine bottles of illicit liquor have been seized from Gurdev Singh. In both cases, the accused were arrested and later released on bail.

Man hurt: Baljit Singh was injured when the scooter on which he was travelling was hit by a trolley being driven by Amit Kumar at Chowk Jodhewal. The accused has been booked under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC.

Electrocuted: Shiv Kumar was electrocuted at J.S.Tools Corp at Kailash Nagar. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.



21 pc increase in revenue collection
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The Central Excise and Taxation Division Ludhiana has registered an increase of 21 per cent in revenue collection.

A press release of the department said a high-level meeting of the officers held here yesterday appreciated the revenue increase but called for more coordination between the various wings of the department in order to record a further rise in collection.

The release said before the meeting, Mr Someshwar, Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Delhi Zone, and Mr S.P. Srivastva inaugurated the computerisation of the Dry Port of the Department of Focal Point here.


Fashion institute’s exhibition begins
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 18 — The JD Institute Of Fashion Technology, Ludhiana, started a three-day exhibition yesterday. The exhibition on courses like fashion designing, knitwear design and technology, interior designing and textile designing will continue till June 19.

In fashion designing, there will be basic, intermediate and advanced courses, which would provide the students a good exposure to face the fashion world. The interior designing course would provide knowledge on different aspects like history of interior design, role of an interior designer, professional practice and so on.

Ms Savita Jain of the institute said knitwear design and technology will include knitwear structure on hand flat and circular, quality control, export documentation, costing and many other aspects related to it. There would be four semesters for textile designing, with practical and theory exams.

Ms Jain further informed, "The basic idea behind the event is to give practical information about the courses being provided by the institute, and to make the student’s future secure in this profession. Within past few months, we had received around 700 enquiries so we decided to give them practical information about the courses.” 


Computerised facility at CFS opens
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — Computerisation facility of the Container Freight Station (Punjab State Warehousing Corporation) here was inaugurated yesterday by Mr S.P. Srivastava, Chief Commissioner of Customs (DZ), New Delhi, Mr Someshwar, Chief Commissioner of Central Excise (DZ), was the chief guest.

The station, started its operations in 1990. The volume of import as well as export work has grown tremendously since then. The number of containers handled has risen from 2779 in 1990-91 to 23659 during 1999-2000.

The exporters of the region are benefited to a great extent by exporting their products through this dry port. The amount of drawback disbursed during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 is Rs 65.52 and Rs 68.34 crore, respectively, apart from duty-free imports under EPCG and other export promotion schemes.

Facility of Indian Customer EDI System to CFS, Ludhiana, will be a boon for exporters. Apart from avoiding delay in dealing with exports, it will facilitate disbursement of drawback through online system within two days.

To start with, Electronic Data Interchange System will apply for duty-free shipping bills. Thereafter, it will be extended to exports under drawback and DEPB schemes as well as to imports. A public notice has been issued in this regard by the Commissioner of Customs, Amritsar.


Woolmark award for Kohinoor Mills
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 18 — Kohinoor Woollen Mills, Ludhiana, has got this year’s Woolmark Golden Thread Award in the bedding category. The awards were recently announced by the Woolmark Company.

The company announces these awards in recognition of technical innovation, styling and use of colour in new wool products.

According to Mr Geoff Robinson, manager of the Interior Textile Division of the company, this year entries were judged on their suitability for the marketplace as well as for their style, texture and design.

A company release said the blankets and throws were most notable for their innovative use of fancy yarns as well as stylish weaves and effects. Entries ranged from traditional design styles and colours to blankets and throws of a more unusual composition.

The Kambala throw by Kohinoor Woollen from India was selected as the winner of the Residential Bedding category for its woven and textured effect.

Mr Rajinish Behal, Managing Director of Kohinoor Woollen Mills, said, ‘‘We believe our throws to be modern and elegant and our designer was influenced by the highs and lows of life, be it the rise and fall of the seas of the fluctuations of the stock exchange. This is portrayed in the thick and thin nature and subtle colour changes of the throw fabric’’.Back

Computer institute inaugurated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 18 — A computer training institute that caters to the needs of children in the age group 4-14 was inaugurated by Mr L.S. Chawla, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University, here today.

Bostons Cyberkids was set up in 1996 as a division of the Boston Education and Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Mr Khilandeep Singh and Mr Love Tayal of the institute said different packages are available for different kids according to their age groups. They are mom & me for (3-4 years), magic mirror (4-6 years), little sinstein (4-7 years), global tract & art workshop (4-7 years), net connect (7-14), scanner mania (8-14), gray cells (10-14) e-design (8-14).

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 |