Friday, July 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Multi-storey complex violates building rules
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, July 13 — A commercial complex, comprising kitty halls and a rooftop revolving restaurant, under construction in the main Model Town market here, is alleged to have committed gross violation of building bylaws, in addition to creating a nuisance for the large number of residents in the locality.

While senior MC officials said they were looking into the matter and any irregularity committed by the builder would be sternly dealt with, The Tribune team which visited the site of construction found that a ramp constructed in front of the building in the lane adjoining Arya Samaj had covered almost half of the public road.

Apparently, no provision appeared to have been made for parking of vehicles and a giant diesel generator, installed on one side of the building, occupied a portion of another public street.

Municipal town planner S.S. Gill, who visited the site personally today after enquiries made by the Tribune, said that while the records and the approved building plan were being checked, it was apparent that gross irregularities were committed in construction of the building, which was near completion. On visible inspection, the floor space area appeared to be much beyond the permissible level, shops constructed in the basement could be the parking area shown in original building plan and on two sides of the building, the portions of public streets were encroached upon.

The residents of the houses around the commercial complex were both angry and upset over the hectic construction activity and encroachment of the main road and the street, adjoining the building. In a written memorandum, submitted to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation here, they have said that the hotel-cum-marriage palace, with a revolving restaurant on its rooftop, when functional, would flagrantly violate and intrude into their privacy.

The memorandum, signed by more than 50 residents, further apprehended that in the absence of a proper parking place, the public streets and a park in the vicinity would be used for this purpose, besides the blaring sound system, lights and other vagaries of the marriage parties and other functions would disturb the peace and tranquillity of the entire locality.



Tariff revision exercise a sellout,
allege PSEB engineers
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, July 13 — The issue of power tariff revision continues to be hotly debated, with the industry making it clear not to take things lying down, while the PSEB engineers alleging that the decision was a sellout and the PSEB management had bowed down to a powerful lobby of industry, enjoying tacit support of the state government.

Mr M.S. Bajwa, President, PSEB Engineers Association, said in a news conference here today that the entire exercise undertaken by the PSEB to improve the financial health of the board had been scuttled by a strong lobby of industrialists. As the government fully well knew that the industry had always tried to oppose the rational revision of tariff, they (industry) should not have been given a dominant role in arriving at a settlement for the new tariff.

Pleading for full functional autonomy for the PSEB, Mr Bajwa emphasised upon the government to desist from interfering in the day to day affairs of the board. As far as revision of tariff was concerned, there was no provision for consultation with any particular section of the consumers and such an exercise was rather violation of Section 16 of the Electricity Supply Act. The entire process followed by the PSEB management under the instructions of the state government was not only total violation of statutory provisions contained in Electricity Supply Act but had also deprived the authorities from strengthening the financial position of the board. As against a projected mobilisation of Rs 1300 crore from the proposed tariff revision, the ‘compromise formula’ of tariff revision would only bring in an additional Rs 300 crore per annum, he added.

The engineers association, Mr Bajwa asserted, had been continuously stressing in the past that increased interference by the state government in the PSEB working had landed the board in a debt trap. Since the board was charging all categories of consumers much less in comparison to all other northern states, the accumulated loans of the PSEB from financial institutions had gone up to Rs 3750 crore and the interest burden alone amounted to Rs 591 crore per annum. The only way out from this excruciating situation was a rational revision of tariff but the government attitude had sealed the fate of the PSEB.

Mr Bajwa cautioned that if all sections of consumers did not understand the role of power sector and its requirements, the situation would naturally lead to privatisation and experience had shown that power sold by private sector is almost unaffordable of all categories of consumers. This fact was borne out in a memorandum submitted by the industry to the state government in which it was demanded that power tariff should not be raised and at the same time the power sector should not be privatised.

While opposing free power to farm sector, which it said, was a populist decision at the cost of the PSEB and other consumers, the association pointed out that the farm sector consumed an estimated 18 per cent of the total power in Punjab as against about 51 per cent by the industry, the commercial and domestic categories of consumers. Therefore, it would be wrong to attribute all the losses of the PSEB to free power supply to agriculture alone. But at the same time, any populist measures of the state government should be funded by the government itself and there was no justification in the state government withholding the accumulated amount of more than Rs 900 crore on this account during the last 3 years, Mr Bajwa observed


Victim's parents suspect no foul play
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 13 — The controversy surrounding the death of the 17-year-old girl at the house of her foster-father, a councillor in Nari Kalan village, has deepened further with the parents of the victim refusing to give any statement against the suspect.

As a result, the police has been forced to register a case of suicide under Section 174 of the Cr. P.C. “However”, informed DSP Gurjit Singh Romana,” the police will continue with its investigations and if the chemical examination report of the viscera and swab establish that the victim had been raped or poisoned, the accused will be booked under relevant sections.”

The police officer said that they had filed the case under Section 174 of the Cr.P.C., on the statement of the suspect, Bhagwan Singh. Bhagwan Singh has stated that when he was looking for the girl last morning alongwith his son, his son found her dead on the top floor of the house after she had allegedly immolated herself.

The victim, a 17-year-old had been found burnt on the top floor of the two-storey house of Mr Bhagwan Singh at Nari Kalan village, where she had been living for the past 10 years. The police had been suspecting that that the victim was having illicit relations with her foster father and that he could have first poisoned the victim and later burnt her. It was also suspected that the girl could be pregnant and as a result the police had requested the Civil Hospital authorities to specifically check if the girl was pregnant or raped.

The post mortem examination of the victim could not establish the pregnancy, but the doctors had not ruled out rape. It may be noted that it was the alleged callousness of a doctor that the post mortem was delayed by almost two-and-a-half hours. After the SMO, Civil Hospital, marked the post mortem to a lady doctor and a private vehicle was sent to pick her up from her residence, she reportedly said that she would come only in a hospital vehicle. However, it was only after a few hours that another lady doctor was deputed to conduct the post mortem.

In fact the death of their young daughter failed to have any effect on the parents — Suresh Kumar and Kamala Devi.Surprisingly, when this reporter approached the couple here today, they showed no signs of remorse and were instead chatting and laughing over a joke. When reprimanded by this reporter, the couple categorically said, “Maran wala tan chala gaya, hun asi kadon tak ronden rahiye?”

The parents said that they did not suspect any foul play and that they had learnt that their daughter was not keeping well for quite some time after she suffered from typhoid.” She had been in the influence of some evil spirits and it was because of this that she committed suicide.


Possession of plot after 18 years
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 13 — A city resident will finally get possession of a 500 sq. yard plot booked by him about 18 years ago in Atam Nagar Colony as the District Consumer Redressal Forum has directed the Atam Nagar Co-Operative House Building Society to give possession to the resident within a month.

According to a copy of the judgement received here today, the forum directed the Improvement Trust here to provide demarcation of 1556-d plot to Mr Suresh Pal Mittal, a resident of The Mall here. The complainant had subscribed to a Model Town Extension Scheme of the Improvement Trust and deposited the requisite amount in May, 1983. However, in 1989 there were some changes in the scheme, which led to further changes in demarcation of the plots in the colony.


Transfers of doctors biased: PCMS
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 13 — The PCMS Association has condemned the "partial" attitude of the Punjab Health Minister, Dr Baldev Chawla, in the recent mass transfers of doctors. About 1,000 doctors have Been transferred under the drive of rationalisation of specialists' posts. In the process, a large number of doctors were harassed, it alleged.

In a press note issued here, Dr D.C. Sharma, General Secretary, and Dr Hardeep Singh, spokesman of the PCMS Association, Punjab resented that the assurances given by the Health Minister to reduce the harassment of doctors were false. They alleged that the "partial and discriminate" attitude adopted by the Health Minister in these transfers resulted in worsening the health services in the state.

The PCMS Association alleged that these mass transfers were only to divert the attention of PCMS doctors from the failure of Punjab Government to implement the Punjab pay panel recommendations even after three years.

The association demanded the immediate reconsideration of the genuine cases of transfer and implementation of the pay panel recommendation.


Appeal to implement traffic rules
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA , July 13 — The Indian Crime Prevention Society has appealed to the Punjab Government to implement the Punjab and Haryana High Court directives on traffic rules. These have to be strictly followed by scooterists and motor cyclists as far as wearing of helmets is concerned.

In a joint press release, the President of the society, Mr N.K. Sharma, United Nations Youth Organisation’s Punjab President, Dr Shiv Gupta and Lal Bahadur Shastri Forum President, Mr Sushil Malhotra, said the majority of three-wheelers have no permits, no pollution certificates and no driving licenses.

The society said that the private bus operators were running their buses in many numbers whereas they possessed only one permit. Private cars, Tata Sumos and vans were operating in the state without a valid taxi permit.

They also alleged that the operators of these vehicles offer bribery to the D.T.O’s and traffic police officials throughout the state.

They further urged that the traffic rules should be implemented strictly without any discrimination in the larger interests of the public.Back


Farmers’ training camp
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 13 — A special farmers’ training camp was organised at Doraha by the state Agriculture Department as part of a special campaign to prepare farmers to face the implications and challenges ahead due to the implementation of GATT and WTO proposals.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest, Mr Sadhu Singh, MLA (Payal), called upon the farmers to understand the serious challenges posed by the GATT agreement. He asked the farmers to prepare themselves for implementing new agricultural techniques to improve the quality of their produce so as to compete in the international market.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Rajajung, Chief Agricultural Officer, disclosed that the Agriculture Department had launched a special campaign for farmers’ training to guide and educate them about the adverse effects of the GATT agreement.

The SDM of Payal, Mr Amarjit Pal, appreciated the efforts of the Agriculture Department to enlighten the farmers about the latest developments at the international fora.


Fund crisis halts NCC’s march
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 13 — Brig R.K. Mehra, Deputy Director General of the NCC (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh) today criticised the Punjab Government for keeping the NCC low on its priority list and not providing it with sufficient funds.

Addressing a press conference at the NCC headquarters of this division here today after an annual inspection, Brig Mehra said the NCC activities were low-key in the states as only 30 per cent of the required funds were being released. He said the NCC officers were now forced to use “regiment” funds for carrying out the activities.

He said the NCC battalion here had been given a meagre Rs 8,500 for the payment of telephone bills, whereas, just the rent of telephone connections worked out to be more than Rs 6,500, leaving it with a only nominal amount to pay for the calls. He said the battalion officials had, from their own pocket, paid a telephone bill for Rs 61,000 as the government had not considered requests for supply of more funds.

The NCC activities are funded jointly by the Centre and respective state governments. According Brig Mehra, there is no problem with the Centre as it has provided all funds in advance, but, the Punjab Government is delaying the supply of money.

Brig Mehra said the need and significance of the NCC activities could not be ignored. He said the southern states, especially, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were miles ahead than Punjab in the activities. He said Andhra Pradesh had 40,000 NCC cadets ready for any duty.

Brig Mehra said it was unfortunate that the DDG had not been given powers of the Head of Department vested in the DPI Colleges. He also criticised the quarterly system of the allocation of funds to the NCC by the Punjab Government. He said the NCC was a year-long activity and could not be planned according to quarterly allocation of funds.

Meanwhile, the NCC wing of Arya College here will be shifted as it had not received a good response. This was stated by Col P.S. Bedi, Commander of the local NCC unit here today in his annual report presented to Brig R.K. Mehra. Brig Mehra also inspected the NCC headquarters and spent time with a contingent of cadets.


Laser Week at VLCC
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 13 — Vandana Luthra’s ‘Curls and Curves’ has organised a Laser Week from July 12 to July 18. During this, people would be made aware of the use of soft cosmetic laser in various international beauty treatments for problems like acne, alopecia areata (balding in patches), skin pigmentation, wrinkles under-eye bags and wound healing.

According to Mrs Rohini Sood of VLCC, “Laser therapy has to be considered as a synthesis of traditional forms of treatment and the state-of-art techniques in natural sciences, because of its action on acupuncture points which normalises the energy of the meridian (energy path) and the bio-energetic state of the person in a few seconds.”

The soft laser used at VLCC detects these points by measuring the electrical resistance of the skin, which is lower at these points. About 15 seconds of stimulation is provided on these points which in turn stimulates and regulates body and skin metabolism restoring health and normal functions.

This light stimulus also effects the cutaneous musculature, causing a contraction. The activity of the lymphatic system is also heightened, helping to remove the metabolic waste products and cytotoxins from the tissues. This stimulus spurs the activity of the endocrine system, improving the muscle tone, thus indirectly exerting a beneficial effect on the tautness of the facial skin. The newly stimulated production of collagen in the connective tissue, enhances the elasticity of the skin. Treatment with laser brings about a harmonising balance of the forces and energies within us.


Pickle time is here again
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 13 — Now is the time if you want to make home-made mango pickle for the year.

The market has been flooded with big raw mangoes from various places. The sale of these has been brisk over the past week. For a five kg lot, you have to pay Rs 40. However, if you want to have it cut and sliced for you, you have to pay Rs 10 more.

The mangowallahs in the old Sabzi Mandi here are a busy lot as they cut heaps of green mango everyday.

A mango seller says that once the monsoons set in, even the green ones will have juice in these and become unfit for pickle making.


Cooking course for girls
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 13 — The third free cooking course for girls by Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha will commence on July 17 at Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir here, according to Mr Naresh Goyal, Press Secretary, Mandir Sabha.

The 15-day course, approved by the Government of India, will be conducted under the supervision of Mr Anant Ram from 2 to 4 pm every day. According to Mr Goyal, sewing and painting classes have also been going on under the guidance of Ms Parveen Sharma.


City theatre groups lack patronage

This megacity does not appear to have witnessed much theatre movement in the past two decades. however, there is a lot of enthusiasm whenever a good play is staged in Punjabi Bhavan, PAU or other educational institution. Thereafter, there is a long period of lull, seldom broken by the staging of a play.

The younger generation might not be aware that hardly two decades ago, the open-air theatre (Balraj Sahni Rang Manch) of the Punjabi Bhavan was witness to the regular staging of Punjabi plays. The thespian, Harpal Tiwana, and his wife Nina had taken upon themselves the duty of providing a new dimension to the cultural life of this midland of Punjab. Under the banner of 'Punjab Kala Manch', they started staging plays in Panjabi Bhavan, the venue made available to them by Dr M.S. Randhawa, the President of Punjabi Sahit Akademi. Harpal Tiwana, ever enthusiastic to usher in Punjabi stage culture, presented such memorable plays as Diwa Bale Saari Raat, Laung Da Lishkara, Loha Kutt, Nasha Kursi Da, Bauhrupia and Kaudian Wala Supp, among others.

Interestingly, this theatre movement groomed and promoted new stage artists during the seventies and early eighties. Among them can be counted such renowned stage film and television personalities as Raj Babbar, Gurdas Maan, Girja Shanker Mathur, Nirmal Rishi, Darshan Bari, Sardar Sohi, Gurdip Aulakh, Sarabjit Bawa and Jiwan Neel.

Nirmal Rishi informs that theatre workshops would be organised to create theatre consciousness in the younger generation.

At the individual level, Dr S.N. Sewak, is involved in the production of his Punjabi play under the banner of 'Ludhiana Kala Manch', established in 1976. This has been made easy by his wife Amrita and son Aditya who have given remarkable performances on stage. During his days in PAU as Professor and Head of the Department of Journalism, Languages and Culture, Dr. Sewak produced and directed such plays as Jaal, Chhleda and Inna di Awaz in the university auditorium. Now, of course, he prefers Punjabi Bhavan or Panjab University Extension Library or even a street corner (Nukkar Natak) in Chaura Bazar, Rose Garden or District Courts Complex. His play Janam Din was widely acclaimed here as well as in Kenya from where he has recently returned.

In Ludhiana, there are many theatre enthusiasts who want to revive Punjabi theatre on the lines of Bha Gurshawan Singh's 'Natak Kala Kendra'. Biba Kulwant was with this kendra for 10 years and is now a renowned stage artiste based in this city. In this field, Hira Singh Randhawa (of 'Ludhiana Art Theatre') Tarlochan Lochi, Satish Painter and Bipin Sharma ('Creative Theatre') are making their presence felt. As President of the Ludhiana chapter of Spic-Macay, Dr Astha Arora, herself an exponent of kathak, is playing her significant role in the cultural activities of the city. Not known to many, Christian Medical College (CMC) presents English plays in Punjabi Bhavan every year to a select audience.

On a different level, but in the same context, Daljit Singh Jassal has set his heart to revive folk culture in his hometown, Ludhiana. He has planned a show, Bhand Punjab De, in which the forgotten folk art of making satirical comments on the social and personal evils in the form of humorous dialogues between two jokers (bhand) would be highlighted. Earlier, he has successfully demonstrated the rural aspects of life on the stages of Punjabi Bhavan, Virasat Bhavan and some educational institutions. Mention need be made of Ghukar Charkhe De, Ghaghra Soof Da, Gutt Da Paranda, Ruttaan Bole Payyan, Ghara Wajda, Teeian Teej Dian and Dhol Visakhi Da.

The presentation of plays is an aesthetic art that needs to be appreciated as an end in itself and not merely an annual activity in schools and colleges. The Cultural Affairs Department of the Punjab Government that was quite active some time ago in promoting theatre in this part of the state has of late turned its back on Punjabi theatre culture. Hence, a atmosphere of uncertainty prevails in the theatre groups of the city.H


Two arrested for accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 13 — The Vigilance Bureau has arrested a Junior Engineer and a sub-divisional clerk in the Public Works Department on charges of accepting a bribe of Rs 2400.

In a press note, the SP Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, informed that a JE Mr Maljinder Singh and a woman clerk, Mrs Kamaljit Kaur had accepted a bribe of Rs 2400 from a contractor for passing his bills. While Rs 2000 had been given to the JE, the remaining sum of Rs 400 had been given to the clerk.



Husband, in-laws booked
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 13 — A woman has accused her husband and in-laws of harassing her for dowry. She has also accused her father-in-law of trying to establish illicit relations with her.

In an FIR registered at the Sarabha Nagar Police Station, Neetu Bala alleged that her husband, Parveen Kumar, father-in-law, Gudial Singh, sister-in-law, Mukta Rani, and mother-in-law, Satwant Kaur, were demanding Rs 1 lakh as dowry from her family. The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC.

Liquor seized

Fifteen bottles of illicit liquor were seized from Satpal Singh from Pulli Amarpura. The police has booked the accused under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Gambler held

Krishan Lal alias Bully was arrested by the Model Town police for gambling. An amount of Rs 305 and some slips of dara satta were seized from him.

Woman dead

A woman hailing from Dhandari Kalan is alleged to have committed suicide, after she was allegedly depressed over the worsening economic status of her family. She is survived by her husband and three children.Back

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