Friday, June 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Nullah project stinks of corruption
Residents skeptical about its usefulness
From Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 29 — In the rains this year, Budha Nullah will no longer pose a threat to residents of the localities situated on both sides of the drain if senior officials of the Municipal Corporation are to be believed. With the desilting work having been completed past year at a cost of Rs 65 lakh, the nullah can retain much more water. Partial completion of construction of road on the banks of the drain has further reduced the chances of spillage and damage to life and property, say the officials. More than 3.5 lakh sand bags have also been used to further strengthen the banks and check erosion.

However, those who have seen and experienced the frenzy of the nullah in monsoons, are still skeptical. "Even in the past, the MC authorities and the district officials have made tall claims about flood-prevention measures. However, we do not believe all of what they say," said a resident of New Shivpuri locality.

Work for the construction of roads on both sides of the nullah, from Kirpal Nagar on Samrala Road to Pavittar Nagar, was taken up in April 2000. This was after an exhaustive drive by the municipal corporation to clear encroachments on the 9 km stretch identified for this purpose. That the prolonged campaign met with a strong resistance, particularly from some religious institutions and politicians whose structures stood in the way, is another story.

However, barring a 1.14 km stretch between Rahon Road culvert to Shivpuri culvert where the road is being constructed only on one side, the preliminary work for construction of roads on both sides of the nullah has been completed at a cost of Rs 12.74 crore. "The compaction of layers is in progress," said Mr S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation (MC).

The remaining earthwork on the roads would be taken up after the rains and in the meantime, stone-metal would be laid on the portions where the work had been completed. The work had been divided into seven segments supervised by different contractors, said Mr Sandhu. "To maintain a strict quality-control, the MC had engaged a Geneva-based global consultancy firm, SGS Quality Control Company. The company will charge 0.9 per cent of the cost of the project," said a senior official of the civic body.

The opposing claims of the MC officials notwithstanding, reliable sources say that everything about the project is not above the board. "The Budha Nullah project has come as a gift for officials and contractors involved in it. Even in its beginning, there were several irregularities in the process of tender-clearance. In the technical bid, only seven contractors were shortlisted for seven segments of the work, which appears fishy. Some firms which did not even have the requisite equipment to execute the job were shortlisted. The bids of some others, obviously not the favourite ones, were not entertained even though these were competitive," the sources said.

Another MC functionary who claimed that he knew the story behind the tender-clearance, said an inflated estimate of the cost of work on two segments had been provided to the MC by certain colluding officials to benefit some contractors and the profit was divided among them.

The project had been involved in a controversy earlier as well when a Congress MC councillor, Mr Sat Pal Puri, had alleged in a news conference here that the contractors who had got the project had paid Rs 16 lakh to senior MC officials for this purpose.

"The councillor was also involved in a battle with the civic body over the construction of 16 shops in New Shivpuri. This might have made him launch a verbal attack on the officials, but, there cannot be a smoke without a fire," sources in the MC said.

Meanwhile, the O and M Cell of the MC has launched a vigorous campaign to clean the 10 km stretch along nullahs which empty into the Budha Nullah. This is being done to improve the flow of water and check its clogging and overflowing. The Superintending Engineer (O and M), Mr S.S. Jandu, said the nullahs (open and covered drains) flowing through Talab Bazar, Sadar Bazar, Nigger Mandi, Nali Mohalla, Railway Bridge, Shahi Mohalla, Kundan Puri, Field Ganj, Islam Ganj, Issa Nagri, Mohalla Dhokan, Moti Nagar, Hargobind Pura, Transport Nagar Shingar Cinema, Masjid Chowk, Sardar Nagar, Ghati Jiwa Ram, Kitchlu Nagar and Haibowal were being cleaned and the work would be completed in the next couple of days.


Oswal backs power tariff hike
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 29 — Mr S.P. Oswal, Chairman of the Vardhman Group of companies and a prominent member of the tariff committee constituted by the Punjab Government to look into the issue of hike in power tariff, said today that the industry had been let off rather lightly as the PSEB was determined to impose a hefty hike in power tariff.

In an interview with the TNS here today, he refuted the rumours that he along with three other members of the committee — Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, Mr Amarjit Goyal and Mr I.M.S. Grewal — had betrayed other representatives of the trade and industry on the committee by agreeing to a modest increase in the power tariff. "I think some of our friends here are trying to gain some political mileage out of it. I don't mind that, but, they should get their facts straight," he said.

Mr Oswal said, "In the interest of the industry and the government, this is the best bargain we could have got. The Chairman of the PSEB wanted to impose an increase of 65 paise per unit on the power tariff initially, which he later reduced to 45 paise per unit. However, we were able to convince the Chief Minister to settle for a hike of just 25 paise per unit," he said.

He said days of hard bargaining and meticulous figure work had gone into the finalisation of the power-tariff hike. "It goes to the credit of the Punjab Government that it consulted the industry at every step. In Haryana, the government just issues a notification and that is the end of it," he said.

He said the last hike in the power tariff was carried out by the PSEB in July 1998. At that time, the cost of power-supply was Rs 2.30 per unit. Even then the industry had agreed to a modest hike in it. "Since then, the cost of producing electricity has risen, which according to our own calculations is Rs 2.53 per unit. The industry is already paying a tariff of Rs 2.83 per unit, but, if it could then agree to a hike, there is no reason why it should not do so now." Mr Oswal said.

According to an understanding reached with the government, tariff would be increased by 19 paise for small-scale units and 25 paise per unit for large-scale units. Mr Oswal said the other members of the committee and he had told the Chief Minister that the agricultural sector was not the only sector being heavily subsidised by the government. Power supply to the domestic sector was also being subsidised upto Rs 400 crore a year. The government should therefore try to prune it.

Along with the hike in power tariff for the industrial sector, it had also been decided to take certain other measures to improve the financial situation of the PSEB. The Punjab Government had decided to give upto Rs 200 crore a year to the board for its losses on account of free supply to the farm sector. The Chairman of the PSEB had decided to take concrete steps to cut down losses in the transmission and generation of power to save about Rs 175 crore a year. He had also put a ban on further recruitment for the next 10 years to reduce overstaffing.Back


Power situation still grim
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 29 — The frequent and unscheduled power cuts have rocked the megacity, and with the sweltering heat showing no signs of relenting, the city residents have been forced to suffer in silence.

The critical power station in the city with cuts that recur almost every two hours of the supply that is made, residents of the city have not been able to enjoy a good night’s sleep for almost three consecutive days.

Residents of the Civil Lines, Kitchloo Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Raj Guru Nagar, Sunder Nagar, areas near Jalandhar bye-pass, Focal Point and Industrial area have been, thus forced to sweat it out.

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

It is learnt that over the past three days, at least two substations — the 16/20 MVA 66/11 KV at Noorewal and the 100 MVA transformer at Lalton — developed some faults, and thus the critical situation, 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 11KV feeders at Kakowal, Kasabad, Sunder Nagar, Guru Vihar, Chitlay and Sebhewal, and other than a few city areas, several villages, too, were forced to go without power.

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 there is more than 100MVA of additional load, and 600 more transformers of 200 KVA each are required to be installed in the city’s residential areas and to replace the worne out mains to deal with this additional load. But the augmentation of the LD (Local Distribution) system cannot be carried out because of 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.

It is reliably learnt that this year the PSEB went in for low-cost maintenance work like straightening of poles, 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 and balancing of loads in three phases etc.

Informs the Superintending Engineer, city circle, Mr M.S. Dhaliwal, “Of the 6068 transformers in the city circle, low-cost maintenance of 5057 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 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 PSEB 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 makeshift arrangement of mains and have at least two mobile transformers in each of the 8 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.Back


Dairy owners, labourers clash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29 — Violent clashes between a group of dairy owners and migrant labourers in the dairy complex at Tajpur Road led to seven people being injured and four vehicles being damaged.

It is learnt that the trouble between the two sides began last morning when a dairy owner, Narinder Singh, tried to stop four labourers employed in other dairies in the area - Kishan Lal, Raghunath, Munna and Shankar, from defecating in front of his dairy.

These labourers misbehaved with the dairy owner and he in turn complained to the police at the Tajpur Road Police post. It is learnt that the police had rounded up these four persons and had asked Narinder Singh to come to the police post at six in the evening.

The dairy owners, however, claim that they decided instead to go to the other dairy where the labourers were residing and get the case sorted out amongst themselves. The labourers seeing the group of dairy owners coming toward them, thought that there was trouble at hand and attacked the dairy owners with sharp weapons and by pelting stones at them. A Tata Sumo, Maruti car, two scooters and a Gypsy were also damaged.

Later, the police was summoned and around 15-20 people were rounded up. The police has now registered a case under sections 452, 232, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC


Hard work only key to success
From Surbhi Bhalla

Ludhiana, June 29 — City boys and girls have proved their mettle by topping the Medical Entrance Exams conducted by various universities. Ludhiana is proud of them. What took them to the top? In the series beginning today, we ask the toppers the secret of their success.

Sumeet Jain attributes success to his family and the hard work he has put in. "Hard work, blessings of parents, teachers, relatives, guidance of teachers, healthy competition among friends and above all God's grace contributed to my success," says Sumeet.

He stood first in the all-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Exams (CBSE), second in Punjab PMT, seventh in the entrance exam conducted by Banaras Hindu University and cleared the written examination conducted by Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC-Pune). He also qualified for the International Physics and Chemistry Olympiad (first round) and got selected for International Biology Olympiad. He is one of the brilliant 34 students who were selected from all over the country. Also, he has attained the second position for receiving the Mata Bianti Devi scholarship of Rs 300 per month for two years.

Very good in academics, he secured 91.2% in class 12. Sumeet wants to become a cardiac surgeon. Inspired by his father, Dr Satish Jain, who is at present working as Chief of Surgery and Medical Director at Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital, Sumeet also wants to become like his father. His mother, Dr Veena Jain (Chief of Gynae) also acted as a role model for Sumeet.

Sumeet says his parents never imposed any restrictions on him and gave him a free hand in studies. He gives all the credit to his mother for waking him up early in the morning and staying awake with him late in the night.

Credit also goes to his school teachers, Principal and the coaching he has been taking from some reputed teachers.

Phones started buzzing as soon as the result was declared. All of them congratulated Sumeet on his success but his was a feeling of disbelief and anxiety, when Sumeet replied everybody over the telephone.

It was a long journey for Sumeet to reach such a position. Talking about his study schedule he told The Tribune that he had been putting in about six hours of consistent efforts every day. He seriously started preparing right after class X.

He watched TV just for one hour a day, but he was not a book worm. All studies and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so he kept himself busy with something or the other.

His message to all ambitious students is: Understand the basic facts instead of cramming mindlessly. Keep working hard, for hard work is the only key to success.



Technology upgradation scheme for textile industry
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 29 — The Ministry of Textiles has launched a technology upgradation fund scheme for textile and jute industries for the next five years. Under the scheme interest reimbursement of 5 per cent has been provided to eligible textile mills for investment in the bench marked technology.

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) organised a seminar to promote the scheme, launched last year. The scheme came up for discussion at the seminar.

Speaking on the occasion the Deputy General Manager SIDBI Mr R P Malik said the SIDBI was committed to provide all support to the industry for removing trade barriers. Technology upgradation would ordinarily mean induction of state-of-art.

Accordingly the technology levels are bench marked in terms of specified machinery for each sector of the textile industry. Machinery with technology levels lower than that specified in the TUF scheme will not be permitted for funding under the TUF scheme.

The industries which will be covered under the TUF scheme include cotton ginning and pressing, textile industry covering silk reeling and twisting, wool scouring and combing, synthetic filament yarn texturising, crimping and twisting, spinning, sicose filament yarn, weaving, knitting including non-wovens, fabric embroidery and technical textiles, garment made up manufacturing, processing of fibres, yarns, fabrics, garments and made ups and also the jute industry.

Under the TUF scheme, generally only new machinery will be permitted. However, in case of the machinery with a minimum residual life of 10 years, import of second hand machinery by the eligible applicant unit will be permitted, subject to a maximum expired life of five years reckoned from the year of manufacture.

Others who addressed the seminar included the Small Industry Services Director Mr J S Khullar, President, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, Joginder Kumar, Director Textile Industry, Mr N S Sayara, president Knitwear Club Mr Vinod Thapar and general secretary Mr V Miglani.

The seminar was followed by a question answer session where entrepreneurs’ queries were answered by the delegates.Back


AISSF supports autonomy
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 29 — The All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) has lent full support to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s demand for autonomy to the state, while asking the SAD(B) led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal to follow suit.

AISSF president Harminder Singh Gill while addressing a news conference here today observed that the Shiromani Akali Dal had always espused the cause of state autonomy but it was unfortunate that once the SAD(B) came into power, the issue was put on back burner. “Let the Chief Minister bring in a resolution in the Punjab Assembly on the lines of the one tabled in J and K Assembly and all panthic groups would rally round the ruling party to see the motion through even if it was opposed by the BJP, the alliance partner of the SAD(B),” he said.

Mr Gill, whose outfit owes allegiance to former SGPC president Gurcharn Singh Tohra, further commented that unlike other coalition partners of the ruling NDA in the centre like Mr Farooq Abdullah, Mr Chandrababu Naidu and Ms Mamta Bannerji, who dictate terms to the union government, Mr Badal has failed to take up any vital issue concerning outstanding demands of Punjab with the Centre.

Announcing that the AISSF will organise a seminar on “Sikhs — a separate nation” here on July 1, Mr Gill lamented that even after 50 years of Independence, the Sikh community was forced to struggle to assert its separate identity. “In view of increase in the instances of violence and excesses on minority communities by front organisations of the ruling BJP like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal, the issue had assumed all the more importance.”

The AISSF chief remarked that since Mr Badal, who also headed the SAD(B), was not expected to forcefully plead the case of the Sikh community, despite the fact that the head priest of Akal Takht had directed to do so, the head priest should initiate a move to set up a committee, comprising members from all panthic groups to present the case before the constitutional review committee for the acceptance of Sikhs as a separate nation.

Mr Gill was accompanied by several AISSF activists including Mr Parkash Singh Matharoo, general secretary, Mr Pritpal Singh and Mr Tejinder Singh, both senior vice-presidents, Mr Barjinder Singh Panesar and Mr Baljinder Singh Dharor, both vice-presidents, Mr Gurmukh Singh Channa, chief organising secretary and others at this occasion.Back


Quacks flourish in labour colonies
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29 — Quacks continue to flourish in Sherpur, Vishwakarma Colony and villages near the city, notwithstanding the drive launched against them.

In the Sherpur locality, which is predominantly a migrant labour area, there are a large number of quacks who find it safe to operate under the banner of a clinic rather than their personal names.

In Vishwakarma Colony, when this correspondent visited a clinic named Choudhary Clinic, the young man sitting in the doctor's chair refused to divulge his qualification.

Some residents of Ramgarh village situated on the Chandigarh road, have drafted a complaint against a certain doctor and a nurse who recently opened a clinic in the village. The villagers allege that while the doctor in only matriculate, the nurse has not been passed 8th standard.

The villagers proposed to forward the complaint to the civil surgeon and the Punjab Health Minister, among others.


Serve ailing humanity, says Jagir Kaur
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29 — Bibi Jagir Kaur, president, SGPC, today exhorted girls to strive hard to acquire excellence in technical and professional education so that they could compete with boys in all fields and could claim a place of respect for themselves in society.

She was addressing students of the Institute of Nursing Education of Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital on the occasion of the annual function and lamp lighting ceremony here.

The SGPC President recalled the services of Florence Nightingale to wards the ailing humanity, adding that the nurses were doing a laudable job in tending to the needs of patients with dedication, love and affection. She asked the nursing students, who took the oath of profession on this occasion, to perform their duty earnestly and honestly to enhance the sanctity of this noble profession.

She made a special mention of the services of Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital towards the poor patients in providing medical treatment at affordable cost and described such institutions as assets for society. Bibi Jagir Kaur announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the hospital.

Speaking on this occasion, the Punjab Technical Education Minister, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha , said the state government had decided to completely vocationalise the education and more and more technical institutions would be set up during the next two years for this purpose.

Bakshi Mohinder Pal Singh, president of the hospital managing committee, and Dr Waheguru Pal Singh also addressed the function.


Many artists, but no spacious art gallery

LUDHIANA, June 29 — To sketch or draw is a rare gift that leads a person to painting. It may be in water colour on paper, or in oil on canvas. But murals are a class by themselves. Inclination to this art is generally noticed in the early years of one's life but in certain cases, one drifts towards it in later years. D.H. Lawrence and Rabindranath Tagore took the brush in their hands when they had made full use of their pen.

Nearer home, Amrita Shergill changed the very concept of Indian painting by focusing on portraits depicting the sordid life of the hill people, especially women folk. In the recent past, Sobha Singh, Kirpal Singh, Ishwar Chitarkar, S.G. Thakur Singh, G.S. Sohan Singh, Amolak Singh and others enriched the art treasurers of Punjab. The artistic works of Phoolan Rani, Devender, Mehar Singh, Jarnail Singh, G.S. Bansal and Amar Singh have also received due recognition in the art circles.

Ludhiana has not lagged in producing renowned artists in the past dew decades. The foremost name that comes to the mind is that of Harkrishan Lal, a contemporary of Sahir Ludhianvi and like him, a student of Government College (Boys), Ludhiana, in the late thirties and early forties. Harkrishan Lal, though lesser known than M.F.Husain due to his reticent nature, is of the same calibre. He is at present based in Mumbai. The famous Punjabi poet Ajaib Chitarkar is an artist in his own right. Incidentally, he is also the contemporary of Lal and Sahir.

Dev, who belongs to this city, has earned international fame by virtue of his abstract paintings. His emphasis is on the modern sensibilities and existential dichotomies of the man of today who is living on multiple levels. His Punjabi poems complement his artistic endeavours on the canvas. He has settled abroad but his association with the city has been long lasting. Dr M.S. Randhawa's patronage in his formative years helped him find his true metier.

The other renowned artist whose stay in this city is perhaps the longest, is Prof N.P. Dhanda. He retired in 1978 from the local Government College (Boys) after putting in 26 years of service in the Department of Fine Arts. Principal Harvey had started in this institution hobby classes in painting way back in 1920. Ever since his retirement, Professor Dhanda has established his own art gallery where the aspirants come to learn painting and seek guidance from their mentor. They go back satisfied and happy that they have made a few beautiful paintings to adorn their houses. He is a master craftsman whose artistic creations depict the aesthetic aspects of life and nature.

Among the old guards, the name that demands special mention is that of Daya Singh. He has delineated marvellous portraits of prominent personalities from various walks of life. The younger generation of artists in Ludhiana has also attracted acclaim in the field of the art of painting. Babli S. Singh has held solo exhibitions of her paintings in this city and in Chandigarh. She has won acclaim for her superb works from the connoisseurs of art. Kuljit Singh, on his part, has earned due recognition with his inimitable paintings. Sukhpreet is doing superb work silently and devotedly. He has come back home after visiting the art galleries in foreign lands.

Residents of Ludhiana are very eager to impart training in fine arts to their young ones. To meet the growing demand, Ramgarhia Girls College recently introduced the subject of fine arts at the under-graduate level.

In two premier institutions — the Government College for Women and Khalsa College for Women — the subject of fine-arts is being taught at the post-graduate level.

In PAU, too, there is a long-established department that is concerned with fine arts in a big way. Dr M.S. Randhawa had seen to it that the university reflected the best of Punjabi folk art. Various art societies, such as the Ludhiana Arts Society, Sobha Singh Memorial Foundation, Art India, and some others hold painting exhibitions and organise workshops from time to time. But not many art exhibitions on a grand scale take place here as the city has no spacious and exclusive art-gallery to exhibit works of art the year round as in Chandigarh. So we should have a proper art gallery to display the works of the talented artists of the city. I hope someone will do something in this direction.


Traders meet minister
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 29 — A deputation of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry met the Petroleum Minister Mr Ram Naik, under the leadership of MP Lala Lajpat Rai.

The delegation brought to the notice of the minister the difficulties faced by the industry on account of the ban on the inter state movement of the furnace oil, LDO and HPS.

According to Mr P D Sharma, president of the chamber, the minister had some apprehensions about the misuse of these oils by some industrial units in alleged connivance with some Sales Tax Department officials of the oil companies.

Mr Sharma said the chamber suggested that only those industrial units be given the facility for interstate movement which get clearance certificate from the Sales Tax Department that the industrial unit is running. The minister has reportedly agreed to the proposal.

The chamber president said the minister assured that the decision on the issue will be taken within the next few days.

Useless fans
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 29 — Ceiling fans at all the platforms of the local railway station are not serving the purpose they have been installed for, it is reported.

During a visit to the railway station today, this correspondent noticed that passengers waiting for different trains were not sitting under but away from these fans where they could have some natural breeze. I tried almost all fans. They were in motion but the whirl of air was missing. Reason? They are hung probably too high or may be there is something technically wrong with the wings.


Strike by telecom employees
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 29 — On a call given by the All-India Telecom Employees Union, a number of employees’ organisations of the telecom circle here observed a one-day token strike in protest against the corporatisation of the Department of Telecom.

A massive rally was organised in front of the General Manager’s office here yesterday. Leaders of several employees’ unions addressed the rally and informed the employees about the shortcomings of the new policy.

Mr Balbir Singh, District Secretary of the telecom employees, said in a press note that the corporatisation of the department would lead to retrenchment of staff, deterioration of the service conditions of the employees, stopping of expansion of telecom services in rural and remote areas and surrender to the multi-national companies.


No room for handicrafts in Ludhiana
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 29 — Ludhiana appears to have no room for the handicrafts. That is apparent from the poor response to the National Handloom and Handicraft Exhibition being held here since June 16 at Lakshmi Ladies Club. Craftsmen from all over India, with their aesthetic creations have come over here to participate in the exhibition. It has been a very big disappointment for all the artists. The people here weigh the handicrafts only in terms of cast and not their aesthetic grandeur.

According to Mr Ram Sharan, president, ‘Hast Shilp Vikas Sanstha’ who is also the organiser of the exhibition, “Ludhiana people compare the handicraft with hosiery goods. Most of the hosiery goods are made with machines. There is no handwork done on them. So most of the customers compare those goods with handmade things and complain that they are quite expensive. They do not appreciate the art and the labour put in by the artists in their creations.”

The exhibition displays the art work of about 60 craftsmen from places like Lucknow, Gujarat, akumari, Panipat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. It exactly looks like a beautiful collage of art collections put together under a single roof. About 40 stalls have been set up of different states depiciting their own individual culture.

The Lucknow stall displays the traditional Lucknavi suits with dupttas. All the Chikan work involves a lot of intricacy and is done with plenty of colours. “They are pure cotton suits and there is 20 per cent discount on them, Yet people demand ‘discount on discount’, which really discourages us”, said Pranay Singh Yadav from Kanpur.

Suresh, another craftsman from Gujarat, with different colourful stone items like necklaces, rings, earrings and nosepins said, “this is a time-consuming job and we have kept minimum rates starting from Rs 20 and going upto Rs 150 only for different items. Yet people says they are not worth the price.” Suresh has come all the way from Khambat (Gujarat), and is a heart-broken man for he had thought of making a huge sale. People had told him that Ludhiana was the richest city of Punjab.

The people from Hathras display the things made of white metal, including key-chains, jewellery boxes, sculptures of various goods and bangles also. The stall contains everything in the price range of Rs 10 to Rs 300. Nobody can restrict himself from admiring the hardwork done on it. But the owner of the stall said,” hamari kala ki koi kadar nahin karta. Kuch log to apne bachhe ka dil behlane ke liye koi choti si cheez kharid lete hain bus.”

There are beautiful and colourful stalls like one with wooden toys from Chinpatnam (Mysore)whereas different variety of hand embroidery can be seen in the cushions, bed covers, mats, sofa backs made by craftsmen from Kanyakumari. As one of the persons attending the customers said, “Some of the customers walk in and say how can you give guarantee for fast colours or the fabric? You people will go after some days”.

The crocheted bedsheets, table mats from Hyderabad, hand woven cloth from Mauranpur (U.P.), jute items like bags and slippers from Calcutta, pen holders, flower pots, trays, show pieces, all made of bamboo by the artists of Assam, bone jewellery boxes from Sambal(UP), the oxydised traditional bells from Peehat and the pottery of Chinat mitti, the paintings made by the nail artist Kamal Bhatt of Baroda definitely deserve a lot of appreciation and a good sale.


Dirty water in Urban Estate taps
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29 — Residents of Urban Estate, Phase 1, Dugri Road, were surprised to find dirty water flowing from taps for about an hour this morning.

Mr Harmel Singh, a resident of the locality, collected a bottleful of the dirty water and approached the Civil Surgeon's office. He could not see the Civil Surgeon but Dr Garg directed Mr Sharma to collect a sample of their own water.

Mr Harmel Singh, who is an Inspector in the Excise Department, also submitted a complaint to the Civil Surgeon. He said the water was not even fit for a bath and there was every likelihood of an outbreak of some disease if immediate attention was not paid to the problem.

Mr Harmel Singh stated further that he had earlier brought the matter to the notice of SDO, who has his office near the water tank. Then he was told that the roof of the water tank had collapsed, resulting in the supply of dirty water. According to Mr Harmel Singh, dirty water starts flowing from the taps now and then, at least twice a month. He visited the Ludhiana Tribune office later with the bottle of water which was not accepted by the health authorities.


Building collapses in Chowk Mishra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29 — A major tragedy was averted when a part of an worn out 100-year-old building in the crowded and narrow lane of Chowk Mishra near Daresi collapsed around 2 p.m. this afternoon. Luckily, no one was injured.

It is learnt that the three-storeyed building owned by Mr Satish Jain and the adjacent building owned by Mr Vivek Sharma and his uncle Mr Priyadeep hade been in shambles for more than 10 years. Though the residential complexes have been built on the first and the second floor, the ground floor has been rented to shops .

The landlords and tenants had been engaged in a legal battle over the issue and the court had reportedly asked the MC to demolish the building in case it was found to be unfit. After a part of the twin buildings collapsed, the MC decided to demolish the building and the top two floors were demolished.


Computer wizkid aims it high
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, June 29 — Small age, big aims. This is not unusual but actual implementation is certainly rare to be seen. Teenage children have been often seen idling away their hours but not this whiz kid. Soon after his Class X examination, Varun Mittal has worked almost for 12 hours per day in designing what he feels is going to be the best Ludhiana website —

At the time of launch of this site, Varun had not taken any practical training, just a few sittings with his NRI cousin, Neeraj Garg, during his sojourn here. Varun had a computer at his place for the past three years and had been trying his hand at new things all the time. He has now joined a six-month computer course for further enhancing his skills.

Varun acknowledges the support of his father who, he says, has always supported him monetarily as well as morally. “The expenses were at times so high and my father never refused. He also guided him at certain points at which some vital decisions had to be taken,” he says.

A three-month-break after Class X had given Varun ample time to design the website and also plan out strategies to popularise it. In fact, he did not waste even a single day as he had started working on the site from the very day of his last examination.

The website is presently giving the e-mail, chatting and search facilities, in addition to city helpline in which all important telephone numbers of the city have been listed. Talking about the e-mail facility, Varun says, “My e-mail column is giving almost double-storage capacity than that of and it has the unusual facility for search which helps users find a mail by simply typing key words from the content of the mail. In addition, it also has power search which helps users find a mail from the date of its arrival.”

The search engine of the site helps the surfers find the latest on any given topic. About his search engine, says enthusiastic Varun, “It is one in seven, giving the best results culled from seven well-known search engines, including yahoo, MSN and lycos.”

There are five chat rooms in the site. One of these is “community” at which any one can put a question and other users who visit the site can answer these queries. These chat rooms do not require any user name or password.

Varun is trying to popularise his site by various means. He is sending e-mails to some surfers. He is also offering free t-shirts to every one who is creating a new e-mail account on the site.

Varun says that his site is also being visited by some non-resident Ludhianavis from Norway and Canada. “Though my site was launched just three months back, it has 274 registered users for e-mail only,” he proudly tells.

According to Varun, is for the Ludhianavis and is going to be about the Ludhianavis. He is soon going to introduce a column in his site which would highlight the achievements of the Ludhianavis.

With summer break now coming to an end, Varun regrets, “I won’t be able to devote much time for the site, may be just the Sundays.”Back

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