Thursday, June 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Power cuts keep Ludhianvis awake for 3 nights
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Frequent and unscheduled power cuts have rocked the megacity and with the sweltering heat showing no signs of relenting, residents have been forced to suffer in silence.

The critical power situation in the city is such that cuts recur almost every two hours and the residents have not been able to enjoy a good night's sleep for almost three consecutive days.

Residents of Civil Lines, Kitchloo Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Raj Guru Nagar, Sundar Nagar, areas near Jalandhar bypass, Focal Point and Industrial area have been forced to sweat it out.

Because of power cuts, the drinking water supply in these areas, too, has been adversely hit and the residents are also being forced to go without the basic requirement of drinking water.

It is learnt that the cause of the problem is that at least two sub-stations — the 16/20MVA 66/11 KV at Noorewal and the 100 MVA transformer at Lalton — have developed some faults in the past three days. While the flexible strip for connecting to the 11-KV bushing in the Noorewal transformer burnt down on June 26, it was repaired and recommissioned within a few hours.

This led to problems in the 11-KV feeders at Kakowal, Kasabad, Sundar Nagar, Guru Vihar, Chitlay and Sebhewal and other than a few city areas several villages, too, were forced to go without power.

Another fault development at the Lalton sub-station yesterday with the CT at the 100-MVA transformer being damaged. Since a large number of city areas are being fed by this transformer, the power situation was particularly grim last night. It is learnt that repair work in this sub-station is still on.

It is reliably learnt that the overall demand for power in Punjab has increased by 10 per cent to 996 lakh units. In Ludhiana alone, more than 100 MVA of additional load has been disclosed and 600 more transformers of 200 KVA each are required to be installed in the city's residential areas and to replace the worn-out mains to deal with this additional load. But the strengthening/augmentation of LD (Local Distribution) system cannot be carried out because of the paucity of funds, informed a highly placed source in the PSEB.

It is also alleged that a large number of transformers are burnt these days because of the constant overloading in city areas and the use of single phasing in rural areas. It is learnt that the damage rate had been reduced by 3.5 per cent last year and this year too, efforts in this direction are being made. But overloading of transformers in all areas is proving to be a deterrent.

This year the P.S.E.B only went in for low-cost maintenance work like straightening of poles and tightening of stays; resagging of HT and LT lines; modification of jumper by making Y connections against T-connections, proper earthing of lines, proper capacity HT and LT fuses; balancing of loads in three phases etc.

Informs the Superintending Engineer, city circle, Mr M.S. Dhaliwal, "Of the 6,068 transformers in the city circle, low cost maintenance of 5,075 has already been done. Besides, 1012.012 km have been maintained and of the 2670.653 km of low tension (LT) lines, maintenance work on 1952.8052 km has been performed."

Mr Dhaliwal informed that a Rs 100-crore master plan for strengthening/ augmentation of Ludhiana LD system was on the anvil and the government and P.S.E.B. had assured all cooperation in arranging for the funds to implement this.

He informed that it was being planned to install new transformers, do away with the make-shift arrangement of mains and have at least two mobile transformers in each of the eight distribution divisions for immediately restoring power supply in any area in case of the transformer being burnt down. "We will also arrange for specialised kits to wash the soot and fumes from overhead lines with pure water as part of this scheme", he said.

Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the power situation in the entire state is also as grim with a 500 MW machine at Sangrolli developing a fault along with two units at Ropar and one at Bathinda.


Counters to receive IT returns
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The dak receipts counters at Ludhiana, Moga, Malerkotla and Khanna for receiving the income tax returns of the salaried employees will remain open up to 5.30 p.m. on June 29 and 30, according to Mr. K.K. Kapila, Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana.



2 PSEB officials suspended for power theft
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The Punjab State Electricity Board has suspended two employees for their alleged connivance in power theft. The thefts came into light during the special drive launched by the PSEB in the New Shivpuri area to curb pilferage.

K. L. Sharma and D. P. Singh, both meter readers, were posted in the area and allegedly involved in power theft. One assistant lineman of the same area is also alleged to be involved.

In the drive against theft in the New Shivpuri area over the past two weeks, PSEB officials have detected several cases of meter tampering in 71 of the 350 houses checked so far.

According to Mr M.S. Dhaliwal, Superintending Engineer, City Circle, among others, 19 cases of selling seals and 14 cases of stopping the meter disc were detected during the drive. As many as 21 cases of the meter not showing any reading were also detected.

He disclosed that the board had imposed a fine of over Rs 10 lakh in all cases. New sealed meter cup boards had been installed in all these houses to prevent further tampering.



Love bug bites computer unit
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Jolly Rishi and Associates, a local web-designing and e-commerce company, suffered a huge loss due to a virus attack on some of its important files past week.

Satinder Singh, owner of the company, says, "Since past week, we were encountering some mysterious problems. The Internet browser was opening a site,, by default. We thought the browser was malfunctioning. We reloaded the browser, but, the problem was not solved."

It was on June 22 that Mr Satinder discovered that a virus, VBS/Loveletter.worm was corrupting graphics and converting all these files into the vbs files. Even their registration and dynamic library, used to recall the data, got corrupted. It showed an e-mail with the subject joke for fun. Even though a latest anti-virus software had been loaded on the computer disk, it could not scan the virus.

Meanwhile, all affected hard disks have been removed and new ones have been installed. Mr Varinder S. Channa of Computer Concepts is working for days together to recover the lost files. He says that since the virus has various life stages, it keeps changing its forms, adding to the problems. Mr Channa was surprised that the files corrupted by the virus were not getting deleted.

Mr Channa says that there is no similar virus attack in the city. However, a brother of Mr Satinder Singh who is in Canada has encountered a similar virus because after the attack, Mr Satinder had sent him an e-mail from his computer.

Mr Satinder Singh said the lost files would soon be recovered. The attack of the virus was relatively limited compared to the one which struck on April 26 when almost 1,500 computer systems of the town were affected. The design-and-printing market was not able to function for almost four days. The effect of this virus, Winchi, was also felt in some educational institutes and cyber cafes. Almost everybody affected lost at least 25 per cent of the data on computers.

Virus detection and prevention tips

  • Do not open any files attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy source.
  • Do not open any files attached to an email unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from a dear friend or someone you know. Some viruses can replicate themselves and spread through email. Better be safe than sorry and confirm that your friends really sent it.
  • Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected.
  • Delete chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any to these. These types of email are considered spam, which is unsolicited, intrusive mail that clogs up the network.
  • Do not download any files from strangers.
  • Exercise caution when downloading files from the Internet. Ensure that the source is a legitimate and reputable one. Verify that an anti-virus program checks the files on the downloaded site. If you’re uncertain, don’t download the file at all or download it on a floppy and test it with your own anti-virus software.
  • Update your anti-virus software regularly. Over 200 viruses are discovered each month, so, you’ll want to be protected.
  • Back up your files on a regular basis. If a virus destroys your files, at least you can replace them with your back-up copy.
  • When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. —


Twist to Chowni Mohalla case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Taking the bull by the horns, Balmikis today spoke up for the first time against 'certain unscrupulous elements' trying to give a communal colour to the row in Chowni Mohalla. They claimed that it was a power tussle between two local dons that was manifesting into the violent incidents.

Addressing a joint press conference at Gurdwara Akalgarh here this afternoon, Mr Vijay Danav, Mr Lakshman Dravid, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Senior Vice-President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Swaran Singh Dhall and Mr Pritpal Singh Palli alleged that the sequence of events in Chowni Mohalla was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy to augment a communal divide between the Balmikis and Sikhs.

They vowed not to let anyone spoil the peace and harmony of the area and also assured the police of their full cooperation in getting the accused arrested.

The Balmiki and Sikh leaders clarified that the incidents in the locality were spearheaded by leaders of two 'gangs' headed Mr Nirdosh Dhand and Mr Lovely, allegedly for one-upmanship.

Mr Bhatia alleged that members of these two gangs were not even residents of Chowni Mohalla. Their street fights which would begin outside would end up in Chowni Mohalla.

Mr Danav alleged that the two 'gang leaders' were acting on behalf of the Congress party as part of a conspiracy to separate Sikhs and Balmikis. In spite of persistent probing by media persons about the Congress leader investigating the communal divide, none of the leaders came forward with a name.

The leaders also claimed that the attack on Satish Kumar was a result of the enmity between the two gangs and that he was an associate of Lovely and had been injured by members of the other gangs.

The leaders unanimously criticised the outraging of the modesty of women in the area and said they would not tolerate such incidents.



Pedalling their way to survival 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Modernism and Traditionalism go hand in hand at Ludhiana. Being one of the most industrialised cities of Punjab, it has all the modern means of transport. But the traditional methods of transport also continue. Cycle rickshaws, horse-driven carts and cattle carts still attract the attention of many a commuter.

According to rough estimates, there are over one lakh rickshaw pullers peddling their way to survival. In Ludhiana while about half of them ferry passengers and persons from here and there, a good number of them work for the industry by carrying raw material and other goods required there.

All kind of factories and industries hire them on a contract basis to ferry raw material or finished goods within the city. The industrialists and other traders save hefty amounts by hiring these poor people.

Most of the rickshaw pullers work on contract basis. To ensure much earnings they overload their rickshaws far above its loading capacity. At times, these rickshaws get overturned.

But most of the rickshaw pullers do not mind taking extra risk for extra money. In fact their painful plight explains their over work. “Work like an animal drawing weight which is almost six times of my own weight.” If I would not take extra load, I might not be able to earn sufficient money, to feed my family. It has become a routine with me to overload cycle rickshaw and do not feel overburdened now,” says Raj Kumar, a rickshawpullar.

The rickshaw pullers say there is no law as such which safeguards their rights. Despite the fact that they carry thousands of people daily from one place to another, besides tonnes of material, there were no fixed rates. The rates were at the discretion of the people for whom they work. In the absence of any union they cannot argue about their rates either. The plight of those working in the industrial sector is more miserable. It is not the rickshaw pullers who decide the rates, but the owners who fix the rates.





Fire-fighting services inadequate
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — In North India, Ludhiana is the second most fire-prone city after Delhi because of a large number of industrial units. But the fire-fighting services available with the local fire brigade of this ever-expanding city are inadequate.

To begin with, there are only four fire stations in the whole city — near Mata Rani Chowk, in Miller Ganj, on the Samrala road near division no 3, Police Station and lastly at Focal Point.

Secondly, 34 posts of firemen, including 18 of leading firemen, have not been filled for quite some time. In fact, there is not a single leading fireman at present.

Thirdly, there are only 20 fire tenders for the whole city. All these factors together present a bleak picture of the city’s fire-fighting capacity.

Also the Chief Fire Officer, here is not functioning from a proper office. He is difficult to approach via telephone. There is only one small room at the back of the parking lot where about eight to 10 firemen sit at a time.

When this correspondent visited the headquarters of the local Fire Brigade office today, a couple of firemen were seated under a ‘Peepal’ tree outside the single room.

A fireman, who has been serving the force for the past 30 years or so, deplored that he and some of his colleagues could have been promoted as leading firemen.

Whenever there is any fire incident in any part of the city, only two firemen accompany a fire tender whereas there should be a crew of eight.

Another fireman grumbled that there were no smoke-masks and oxygen cylinders provided to them.


JD(U) opposes power tariff hike
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The Janata Dal (United) has expressed concern over the decision of the Punjab Government to effect an increase in the power rates for all categories of consumers.

Addressing an emergency meeting of the district unit of the party here yesterday, the state Janata Dal (U) President, Mr G.S. Mehta, urged the state government to streamline the working of the PSEB and to cut down its losses by curbing rampant corruption in the board, widespread theft of power and withdrawing free power to farmers.

The party decided to submit a detailed memorandum on the issue to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on the working of the PSEB in next couple of days.

Mr Mehta announced the nomination of Mr Amar Singh Mehmi and Mrs Kamaljit Kaur as General Secretaries and Mr K.S. Budhiraja and Mr Kartar Singh as secretaries of the state unit of the party. He further said that all vacant posts of office-bearers in the state unit would be filled by July 31.

Mr Amrit Vir Singh Gulati, Vice-President, observed that the facility of free telephone to classes III and IV employees of the Telecom Department granted by the Union Communication Minister would certainly motivate the benefited employees to extend better services to the consumers.

The JD (U) leaders asked the state government to give due representation to the party units in the district grievances committees all over the state.

Mr Amar Singh Mehmi, President, JD (U) Dalit Sena, and other party activists were present in the meeting.



‘Factory not causing pollution’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Messrs D.M. Kapur and sons claimed here today that their unit had been installed and operating in Industrial Area-A in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the government.

In addition to the forging hammers installed in their unit, there were about 20 other such hammers operating in the same Industrial Area. Therefore, it would not be correct to single out only our unit as the one creating noise pollution, he said.

“Incidentally, our unit is located in Industrial Area-A, which was created by the Industry Department way back in 1949”, he added.



YC, Cong activists to gherao Badal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Congress and Youth Congress activists, led by Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, convener of the Punjab Congress Parliamentary Party, would hold a black-flag demonstration and gherao the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at Gulabewal village in Muktsar district on June 30 to protest against the implication of Congress workers in false cases and irregularities committed by the ruling SAD in the recently held nagar council and nagar panchayat elections.

This was stated by Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri, former Vice-President of the Punjab Youth Congress and a close associate of Mr Brar, here today. He challenged the claims of various Punjab ministers about the ruling combine which is supposed to have fulfilled almost 90 per cent of its poll promises, saying that the government was putting a great financial burden on the poor masses and making their lives more difficult.

Mr Dugri observed that the hike in power tariff being effected by the government would prove fatal for the people in general and the industry in particular. The Congress would launch a mass agitation against the anti-people policies of the government, he added.Back


Industry on warpath over power tariff hike
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Resentment in the industry in the state is brewing over the proposed hike in power tariff. The Industry Trade Forum Punjab has decided to launch a mass agitation from July 7 against the Punjab government’s decision to raise power tariff in the state. The agitation will start from Ludhiana and will be carried on in all districts of the state.

Stating this here today, the president of the forum, Mr Harish Khanna, said the hike in power tariff in small-scale and domestic sector will not be accepted at any cost. He said resentment was brewing among consumers over the hike proposals, which were at the cost of common man.

Mr Khanna, who was accompanied by leaders of various industrial and trade fora, asked the state government to curb corruption in the Punjab State Electricity Board. He said the PSEB was manipulating figures and misleading the people. He pointed out that the PSEB was overstaffed, with over 30,000 surplus staff.

Quoting figures from the balance sheet and the audit report of the PSEB, he said while the balance sheet showed the transmission and distribution losses to the tune of 18 per cent only, the audit reports showed the losses at 31 per cent.

The forum president alleged that the government had acted unilaterally without taking into confidence the industry. He revealed that the balance sheet of the PSEB showed that the board supplied 8200 million unmetered units of power last year. He emphasised the need for supplying metered power.

Mr Khanna also disputed the claims of the PSEB Chairman that power was supplied on subsidy to all sectors. He pointed out that the average per unit cost of electricity incurred by the PSEB was only Rs 2.58, while on an average the industry paid at the rate of Rs 2.83 per unit. He alleged that the PSEB was trying to thrust its own failures upon the industry.

The forum president accused some top industrialists of the state of betraying the interests of the industry by giving their consent to Chief Minister for increasing the power tariff. He alleged that the Chief Minister had a secret meeting with Mr Indermohan Singh Grewal, Mr Shripal Oswal, Mr Amarjeet Goyal and Mr Inderjeet Singh Pradhan in Chandigarh on June 19, where the latter agreed to the power hike. Mr Khanna claimed he and five other industrial representatives had vehemently opposed the hike.

Besides Mr Khanna, those present on the occasion included Mr Balwant Rai, president, Northern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Jatinder Moti Sood, president, Ludhiana Agriculture Diesel Engine Manufacturers and Traders Association, Mr Inderjit Singh, general secretary, Punjab Scooter Parts Traders and Manufacturers Association, Harbans Singh Batra, president, Ludhiana Cardboard and Box Manufacturers Associations, Surjit Singh Sadhoura, president, Small Scale Industries Association, Mr Tulsi Dass Jaitwani, president, Punjab Beopar Mandal, Jaswant Singh Birdi, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, S C Rahlam, president, Ludhiana Hand Tool Manufacturers Association, Rishbir Singh, president, Ludhiana Area-B Welfare Association, Som Nath Grover, senior Vice president, Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Jagmohan Sharma, president, Pradesh Beopar Mandal Punjab and Punjab Electrical Dealers Association, Subash Beri, president, Edible Oil Manufacturers Association, Jaspal Singh Shahpuri, president, Janta Nagar Small Scale Manufacturers Association, Jagdish Rai Monga, general secretary, Ludhiana tractor Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association, Harpal Singh Arora, president, Chaura Bazar Shopkeepers Association, Gurminder Singh Batra, secretary, Ludhiana Citizen Council, Iqbal Singh Bhuller, vice president and Gurcharan Singh Paik, secretary, Small Scale Industries Association, Rajnish Ahuja, president, Focal Point Tube Sheets Association, Sudershan Grover, general secretary, Sankar Sabha and Narinder Bhamra and Naresh Sachdeva of the Fastener Manufacturers Association of India.Back


Fight intensifies between SAD loyalists
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The ongoing battle for supremacy between the rival groups of the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, both owing allegiance to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, further intensified with the warring factions indulging in personal attacks and mud-slinging on each other and even using an occasion like the birthday celebrations of veteran Akali leader Master Tara Singh to further their tussle.

Even though the cold war between the two groups had been on for quite some time, the situation took an ugly turn during a religious congregation at Gurdwara Alamgir Sahib when supporters of the two contenders to the post of district jathedar of the SAD clashed. Turbans of each other were pulled down and mikes snatched.

Recently, when the factions resorted to firing shots, criminal cases were registered against some of the Akali Dal activists. Things hotted up when Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia teamed up with Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia, a councillor, to celebrate the 116th birth anniversary of Master Tara Singh in the city.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, who didn't want to let any opportunity pass by for denigrating his rival, opposed the move on the ground that Mr Dukhia had always stabbed the Akali Dal in the back. He charged Mr Dukhia with contesting municipal elections twice against the official party candidates and later joining hands with Mr Rachhpal Singh of Delhi to form a new faction of the Akali Dal allegedly at the instance of the then ruling Congress.

Earlier, the Makkar supporters had criticised Mr Bhatia for being conferred upon with the panth rattan award at a function held at Dugri last Sunday.

Peeved at the verbal attacks by the Makkar faction, Mr Bhatia reacted by saying that those opposing Master Tara Singh’s birthday celebrations could well observe the birthday of Mr Beant Singh, the slain Congress Chief Minister, if they so like.

Carrying the diatribe further, Mr Makkar, at a meeting of the district Akali jatha convened here on Monday evening, said the jatha was not against the birthday celebrations as such and would have joined in making the occasion a grand success had it not been done by the organisers with “Congress background”. He said one of the main organisers had not only always hobnobbed with the erstwhile Congress governments but had also supported Operation Bluestar to ''please their political masters''.

Going a step further, the Akali Jatha General Secretary, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Khalsa, warned that the Akali Dal workers would not permit anyone to sully the image of the party and such activities would be dealt with firmly while abiding by the party discipline.



Coolies carry weight of apathy200 share a shed meant for eight
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Munshi Ram may have seen millions of persons coming in and out of the Ludhiana railway station in the past 30 years, but, his life is confined to the station only. Three decades have not helped in improving his condition. He is as good or bad as he was when he left his village, Sangalwas in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Munshi Ram is one of the 196 registered coolies working round-the-clock at the Ludhiana railway station. The coolies, according to Jagdish Ram Sharma, President of the Railway Coolies Union, do not even have a place to rest.

He said, a few years ago, the railway authorities in a beautification drive had demolished a shed where coolies used to rest. In its place, a water fountain was built in front of the main gate of the station. The fountain has stopped functioning and the water in it has stagnated. It has only helped in dislocating the coolies.

After a long struggle with the railway authorities, the coolies were provided with a resting shed. However, the railway authorities have constructed a shed which can hardly accommodate seven or eight persons at a time. The size of the shed is 6 feet x 10 feet.

Jagdish Sharma said, "The shed was built just to silence us, otherwise, it can hardly accommodate even a few of us."

Some railway officials say that more than 100 trains pass through Ludhiana daily and about 50,000 commuters walk in and out of the railway station daily, making the coolies' job important. However, the coolies feel ignored and neglected. "We do not have a bathroom or a water tap in or around the shed," Jagdish Ram said. He also said they had to visit the station for even a glass of water.

The coolies said their service charges had been fixed more than a decade ago and had not been revised since then. Presently, they are supposed to get Rs 7 per round (phera) with 40 kg load. The coolies said they had to charge extra due to the prevailing dearness.

A good number of these coolies are too qualified for the job. There are at least a dozen or more coolies who are either matriculates or more qualified. A coolie, Prashadi Lal of Pokhal village in the Dhosa district of Rajasthan, has passed Class XII examination also. He said since he could not get a job in government or military, he preferred to take the "number" (license) of his uncle. On being asked whether he was satisfied with the job or not, he said, "When I have no other option, I have to be satisfied with this to my family and myself." A coolie manages to earn about Rs 70 to Rs 80 in a day. Sometimes the earnings are far too less, but, the losses get recovered at some other time.

Coolies want that the railways should give them preference at the time of recruitment for the Class IV jobs. Jagdish Sharma said there were many matriculate coolies in the Ferozepur division alone. He said authorities at several big railway stations in the division should have no objection in recruiting them as they are very much a part of the Railways.

The only privilege the coolies get for their lifelong association with the Railways is a second-class travel pass and that too for themselves only and not their families. "If we need to take our families along, we have to pay for it," said Jagdish Sharma.



Power tariff hike resented
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to direct the Punjab State Electricity Board to downsize its staff and contain transmission and distribution losses and keep the proposed power tariff hike in abeyance.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Joginder Kumar, President of the federation, stated that if its demands were not accepted, the federation would resort to ‘democratic means’ to get its grievances redressed.



Ludhiana — a land of opportunities

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Ludhiana city throws enough challenges for any citizen who is willing to do hard work and try his ideas, luck and mettle in this industrial city.

Ludhiana has a long history of entrepreneurship. During the Mughal rule, Muslim weavers, who stitched clothes of the royalty, had made Ludhiana their headquarters. This historical background may have given a psychological fillip to the hosiery industry. In the past 30 years, Ludhiana businessmen working in the small, medium and large sector have turned the city into a pillar of hosiery, bicycle parts, autoparts, machine tools and sewing machines.

Ludhianvis are one of the most prosperous people in the country and their lifestyle has become a source of envy for the people living in the rest of Punjab and the neighbours states. Today, the Oswals, Munjals, Pahwas from Ludhiana have become household names in the country.

The Ramgarhia community in the city is known for craftsmanship with the members being adept in making war weapons. Their craftsmanship is unparalleled in the country. It is commonly said that there is hardly any machine which a Ramgarhia cannot copy. This community has made a great contribution to city's industry.

Recession or no, the city attracts entrepreneurs from all over the country and a good number of them are able to translate their dreams into reality. The city has many plus points. There is no labour shortage and there are hardly any organised labour unions. One rarely hears of strikes by workers. Many people feel that there is something in the city, that even unskilled workers from UP, Bihar and Orissa gradually become self-employed.

Mason work, carpentry, sanitary job and electricity work have been virtually taken over by migrants. To supplement their earnings, many migrants work in two places. There are many ward boys in local hospitals who also work as waiters in local clubs in the evening. They leave their home at 7 am and return as late as 1 pm. most of them are satisfied with the income they make. Some even earn up to Rs 10,000 a month.

Basant ice-cream, Bikaner Khadya Bhandars and Chaurasia Panwalas have successfully made a name for themselves in the past few years and made their presence felt in the city.

A few years back, a national weekly magazine gave a cover story on the business community of Ludhiana, where Mr Brij Mohan Munjal, Chairman, Hero Group of Industries, was quoted. Ludhiana was called a "A University of Entrepreneurship".

A casual visit to a cinema theatre reveals that most of balconies are full of migrant workers. The city makes no differentiation of caste, creed and religion. Everyone believes in work and the money culture. No one wants to earn less than his brother, friend or neighbour. Everyone competes in making a spectacular display of a son’s or daughter’s marriage. Decorated expensive dowry cars are parked near the main entrance of marriage pandals. From the brand of car, you can assess the financial status of the party. There is a competition in acquiring the latest models of expensive cars.

Work, earn, eat, drink and be merry seems to be the motto of the Ludhianvis. Gradually every newcomer becomes a part of the city culture and starts enjoying Ludhiana life. Any government officer who once comes to Ludhiana, gets so much attached that he loathes going to any other city.

From many angles, Ludhiana is a traditional city. The art of business is passed on from generation to generation. The amount of business knowledge, skill and common sense an average business family gives to its younger generation, no degree college and university education can give. At a very young age, children are exposed to the antics of business. That is why the city places less premium on formal education.

Many MBAs, CAs and other professionals find it highly inconvenient to work under the local business community. They loathe their lala type mentality. Many industries are still run by old methods. For Ludhiana business, it is highly irrelevant whether the owner is educated or uneducated. What ultimately works or succeeds is important, and it is quite clear that till date the city businessman has the last laugh.

— Dr Rajeev Gupta



Helping them stay young and look smart
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Beauty may lie in the eyes of the beholder, but in the modern-day world, nobody need look ugly. A host of beauty aids, personality enhancers and a greater consciousness among the women to look smart and presentable in an increasingly competitive world has made it mandatory for everyone to put her best foot forward every morning.

Gone are the days when women started looking and behaving like grannies as soon as they were past 50. They now make an effort to look and stay young with the help of a series of exercises, a strictly regulated diet and a wide variety of beauty aids. “They don’t want to look a day older than 40, whatever may be their real age. And there is nothing wrong with it. Every human being wants to look attractive and smart”, says Mrs Saroj Verma who runs a beauty parlour in a swank locality of Ludhiana.

In Ludhiana, women who have plenty of time and money do not mind spending a good part of it on sprucing up themselves. Any occasion — be it an evening party, a wedding reception, a visit to the club or a kitty party — is good enough for them to go to the beauty parlour. And this is where enterprising women like Mrs Verma come in.

She started in a small way and has been making steady progress ever since she opened the parlour in a part of her house. “I was just a housewife but I always wanted to do something on my own”, says Mrs Verma. “And I always received full support and encouragement from my husband, Sameer.”

“It is a very paying profession,” she says with a twinkle in her eyes. “If you can work with dedication and determination, you can mint money. Women of Ludhiana, for that matter of any town, are willing to spend anything to look good and attractive.”

Mrs Verma has been in the beauty business for about 20 years. When she did the course two decades ago, she was perhaps the only postgraduate in this field in Punjab. She did an initial course with Shahnaz Hussain in the early 80s followed by an advanced course in beauty culture from the London School of Beauty Culture and Cosmetology. She now offers diploma courses in beauty culture, which are affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar. She is also an adviser and examiner in beauty culture for the GNDU. She has so far trained about 80 beauticians and almost all of them are now successfully running their own beauty parlours in and around Ludhiana.

Mrs Verma specialises in skin care and herbal products. She also markets her own herbal products. “But we are doing it on a very small scale. We don’t have so many resources, therefore, we cannot compete with bigger companies in this line. They spend a lot on advertisements.

She emphasises that no woman should regard herself as ugly. “We are in the business of making sure that you always look your best even if mother nature has now endowed you with all that you desire,” she says, adding “We can always cover your weak points, highlight your positive aspects and dress you up in such a way that you always look attractive and desirable...

“And mind you, loud make up and skimpy clothes have nothing to do with good looks.”



Traffic hell near bus stand
From Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Chaos prevails on a busy road-crossing near the entrance to the town’s bus stand towards Bharat Nagar. Here, vehicles coming from different directions rub shoulders, vying for space to sneak through.

Not only the commotion is a traffic-irritant but also a number of accidents have occurred here. The confusion at the crossing arises from a lack of planning by the authorities concerned while constructing a flyover on the road. The traffic coming down the flyover confronts vehicles approaching it from Bharat Nagar Chowk and bus stand.

The disorder at the crossing is further compounded by bus-stand bound buses on the flyover. These buses either have to take a right turn or a U-turn in order to enter the bus stand. Mini buses adopt the same path and also enter the bus stand from the Bharat Nagar side which adds to the mess.

Buses and mini buses going from the bus stand towards Bharat Nagar Chowk also come face-to-face with vehicles coming down the flyover. The vehicles heading in opposite directions sandwich the smaller ones like rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers. Two-wheelers suffer the maximum nudging and rubbing, besides some strong hits.

Shopkeepers and daily commuters said the muddle was due to the faulty design of the flyover. They said while there was a bridge for buses going from bus stand towards Khanna which touches the bus stand, no such provision had been made for buses entering the bus stand.

They said if a similar bridge was constructed for buses entering the bus stand, the chaos would lessen a lot. Installing traffic lights at the crossing can help. However, it will then have to be ensured that passengers do not board or alight from buses at these points, otherwise, there may be some accidents.



Shaping women’s personality
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 28 — When it comes to grooming one’s personality, age is no bar. This has been proved by the rush of women of all ages at the ongoing classes of personality development and personal grooming at the IMA institute here.

The three-week personality workshop has been organised by the Niharika Ladies Club, an organisation of women here. The participants include not only young girls but middle-aged women as well.

The women are groomed by Jyotika Verma, the first runner-up in Miss Punjab-1992 beauty contest. “I am not just concentrating on the inner personality development as outer personality is equally important in today’s world.”

The participants learn how to tie different styles of saree, on different occasions, the type of heels one should wear with sarees or suits etc. Miss Verma says it is important to look graceful and to carry oneself with confidence. The women are made aware about the latest in fashion, like a suit with double dupatta, which is in vogue these days, she says.

The women are also taught about the casuals, formals and western wear. Special emphasis is given on table-manners. As fashion shows have become a routine affair these days and every other day a summer queen or basant queen competition is held, easy tips on how to walk on the ramp are provided to the women. They also get training on matching steps in ballroom dance and other popular forms of dancing.

No personality development is complete without learning skills of oratory. Speaking boldly and confidently in public is a skill which is given special attention at the workshop.

Today’s woman is not restricted to the household job, she is career-oriented too. So training on how one can prepare for an interview is also given.

Along with this, they are told to have positive approach towards life. They also engage themselves in the art of living — a kind of meditation, during the workshop hours. As Jyotika notices, “I see a great change in them, they look more confident and cheerful and most of them prefer to do modelling daily for at least 10 minutes.”

The women seem to be enjoying the training. One of the participants who is in her late forties said,” Oh! I am enjoying the course very much as it gives me the feeling abhi to main jawan hoon...”.


Stellar life cycle - IV

By 1930, astrophysics had matured to an extent that scientists were able to visualise the behaviour of matter and energy under extreme conditions, which are prevalent inside stars and white dwarfs. In a paper published in 1931, Indian scientist Subrahmanian Chandrasekhar predicted that a white dwarf could exist only if its mass was less than 1.4 times the mass of Sun. This limiting mass is today known as Chandrasekhar Limit. Beyond this limit, the electrostatic repulsive forces will be unable to support the inward tug of gravity and the protons will capture electrons to form neutrons through a process of inverse beta decay. The resulting star is known as a neutron star. Just 10-15 km wide, neutron stars have a fantastic density of a billion tonnes per cubic centimetre. As the star collapses to such a compact size, its rotational velocity increases manifolds in order to conserve its angular momentum. A typical neutron star may have a rotational period of around one second. Quantum forces (of exclusion principle type) support the neutrons against the crushing force of gravity.

Neutron stars are formed through two types of supernova explosions. In a type I supernova, a white dwarf keeps on swallowing matter from its companion star. The moment its mass crosses the limiting value of 1.4 solar masses, it shines brilliantly for a while and shrinks to become a neutron star. In a type-II supernova, the mass of a dying star after ejecting matter into space is already more than 1.4 solar masses. Therefore, the collapse continues right through the white dwarf phase resulting into the formation of a neutron star.

Many neutron stars have some active site on their surface which emits radio waves. As the star spins rapidly, the radio waves reach us in the form of short, regular pulses, lasting several milliseconds. Known as pulsars, these stars were first discovered by Jocelyn Bell at Cambridge. Pulsars observed inside many supernova remnants like the famous Crab Nebula (in Taurus constellation) are a living confirmation of the neutron-star hypothesis.

The General Theory of Relativity says that if the mass of a neutron star is more than three solar masses, the quantum forces will no longer be able to support the inward tug of gravity and matter will be crushed indefinitely into a point. This point-object is known as a black hole. It is so called because its gravitational field is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. So, any matter that falls into a black hole is permanently removed from the observable universe.

Black holes can trigger extremely energetic activities in their vicinity. We know that when some object falls to the surface of Earth under gravity, it gives off heat. If the same object was to fall onto the surface of a more massive object like a neutron star, much more energy would be liberated in the form of visible light or X-rays. However, a black hole will extract all the energy that the object has in the form of its rest-mass, in accordance with Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalence formula (E-mc2). The interstellar matter falling into a black hole swirls rapidly, forming an accretion disk around it. This matter gradually falls inward by dissipating energy in the form of X-rays.

Though black holes are essentially point objects, they have an imaginary, spherical surface around them, known as event horizon. No object or radiation that has once gone past this boundary can escape from the black hole. In other words, a falling object can be seen only as long as it is outside the event horizon. — Balraj Singh



‘Badal govt betraying masses’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — Former Union Minister and President of Lok Bhalai Party, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has charged the Punjab Government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal with “double dealing” and betrayal of the masses.

Addressing a news conference here last evening, he said that while on the one hand the government was raising a hue and cry over cuts in subsidies to farmers and hike in the prices of fertilisers, diesel and other farm inputs by the Union Government, on the other, and the SAD, an ally of the ruling NDA, had extended its support to the decision of the government.

The state government had similarly been pleading for the imposition of import duty on dairy and poultry products to save the farmers in Punjab, but certain close relatives of a senior Punjab minister were mediating a deal between a multinational corporation and the Indian Army for supply of milk, butter and poultry products, which was bound to adversely affect the domestic sector.

Mr Ramoowalia, who presided over a training camp for senior workers of his party here earlier in the day, claimed that the Lok Bhalai Party was trying to emerge as truly a “third alternative”. “We are pursuing issue based policies and a clearly defined economic agenda he said. He claimed that the party had received a tremendous response, particularly in the rural areas, where a sizeable population had been weaned away from the traditional Akali Dal groups.

Describing the Congress as a more dangerous enemy of Punjab than the Akali factions, the LBP chief remarked that his party would “oppose and expose”, both the Akali Dal and the Congress to bring about a change in the prevalent system. The present government in Punjab had not been able to deal properly with problems like the economic crisis, rising prices, unemployment and severe recession faced by the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Mr Ramoowalia said that he would undertake an intensive tour of the state for two months, beginning September, and prior to that at least one lakh copies of the policy document of the LBP would be distributed all over Punjab to mobilise public support and to enroll active workers for the organisation. He said units in the four eastern and north eastern states of Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar had already been set up with Mr Bachan Singh Saral as the chief coordinator. Similarly, in Britain, 26 units of the LBP had been established, he claimed.

The former minister also criticised the central government for imposing new restriction on NRIs.



Youth assaults Jassowal
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 28 — A former Member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, was allegedly thrashed, bitten and threatened by a Nepali youth at his residence this morning.

It is learnt that the accused, Sher Bahadur, went to Mr Jassowal's house in Gurdev Nagar in the morning, hit him on chest, bit his forearm and kicked him repeatedly. Hearing the screams of Mr Jassowal, a tenant in his house and some other persons came to his rescue.

They caught Sher Bahadur and handed him over to the police. A case under Sections 452, 427, 506 and 323 of the IPC has been registered against him at the Division No. 5 police station.

Vehicle recovered

A three-wheeler (PJU-5122) has been recovered by ASI Joginder Singh, head of the Simlapuri police post, from Dharminder Singh and Harjit Singh. The accused were caught near Gill canal while taking away the vehicle to sell it at Ambala or in Delhi.

A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.



Computer education programme
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 28 — The first computer education programme (IT Primer-1) for school teachers and government employees, scheduled from June 6 at the Government Polytechnic for Women, Ludhiana, concluded successfully.

The good response has prompted the institution to start a new batch for IT Primer-I from Monday. 


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