Saturday, July 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Appointment today, farewell tomorrow
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service.

LUDHIANA, July 14 — In an unusual case of ' hi and bye', 10 residents of this city who enjoyed the privilege of being Telephone Advisory Committee members of the local telecom circle for just a couple of days instead of the two-year term were accorded the customary farewell.

These residents allegedly have 'good' political connections with the Central Government, especially the Ministry of Communications.

It was 'welcome' smiles for the new members on one day and instant farewell party the very next day. Using their new-found influence, many had got installed the 'free telephone' connections. Sadly, they had to see their removal the very next day. Some could not enjoy this facility for even a few hours as the department withdrew the orders after expiry of the term the very next day.

The two-year term ended on June 30, but to the surprise of the department as many as 17 letters of appointment as TAC member arrived on June 27. The letters dated June 11 said the persons had been nominated as members of the committee constituted up to June 30 for the local circle. Of the 17 members, only 10 joined while the remaining might have got clue of the things to come.

Sources in the department said that the members, angry at being taken for a ride, argued with the officials that they were appointed for the next two-year term. However, the officials were helpless as the appointment letters clearly stated that the nomination was for the term ending on June 30.

A senior official said the local authorities do not figure in the scheme of things as all appointments or nominations to the TAC are done by the ministry. Most of the members had political affiliations and the majority of 17 members were close to BJP leaders.

The official said they also found the incident funny but were helpless and thus have to first allot telephone connections and then remove them instantly at the expiry of the term. The local TAC can have 50 members but only 35, including the new 17, were made.

One such TAC member, Mr Jagdish Anand, told The Tribune that there was some goof-up in the nominations and demanded the extension of his and other newly appointed members tenure. He claimed that the members had not sought the nominations to avail themselves of the facilities but to serve the public. However, as their tenure had been reduced to merely one or two days, they were in no position to help the public. Mr Anand said the members had urged the Ministry of Communications and the local telecom authorities to extend their tenure so that they could fulfill promises made to the public.

Mr J.C. Aggarwal, General Manager, Telecom of the local circle, said he was ignorant of the matter as no TAC member had approached him with the problem. He said such decisions are taken by the high-ups in the ministry and he had no clue about them.


ST on furnace oil reduced
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — A deputation of the CICU headed by its President, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, met Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, yesterday in Chandigarh.

The deputation apprised the minister of the problems of the engineering industry in the wake of exorbitant prices of furnace oil which is one of the basic raw materials for the cycle industry, forging industry etc.

Following the recent ban imposed by the Petroleum Ministry on the inter-state movement of furnace oil, the industry has to pay sales tax at the rate of 20 per cent in addition to 10 per cent surcharge. Before the ban, the oil, was available after paying 4 per cent CST from the refineries and depots outside Punjab.

The deputation also informed the Finance Minister that the prices of furnace oil have more than doubled in the past six months from Rs 6.40 per litre to Rs 15 per litre.

Unable to bear the cost of furnace oil, the industry was unable to maintain the competitiveness of their goods in the local and foreign markets.

The Finance Minister along with Mr D.S. Kalha, Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Mr D.S. Guru, Director of Industries, and Mr M.C. Mathur of the Punjab Government, decided to reduce the sales tax on the furnace oil from 22 per cent to 8 per cent. It is 2 per cent less than the rates of sales tax applicable in Haryana on the furnace oil.

The deputation consisted of Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, President of CICU, Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary (CICU), Mr G.L. Pahwa, President, United Cycle and Cycle Parts Manufacturer Association, Mr Avnish Arora, President, Jalandhar Chamber of Commerce and Mr Jaswinder Singh Virdi.


Doctors, please use disposable instruments
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Last year after a free dental camp in a local school, about 10 students were tested hepatitis positive. Although the case was hushed up, the infection reportedly spread due to the use of same set of instruments for checking the dentures of all the students after dipping them in a sterilising solution.

Although the modernisation of medical facilities have touched dizzy heights, most of the doctors were yet to introduce disposable examination instruments. The most commonly used thermometers, tongue depressors and other instruments used for examining dentures by the dentists are still being used in a primitive manner, which can lead to spread of dangerous diseases like hepatitis.

However, some doctors like Dr Bhajan Lal Aggarwal have made a good beginning in introducing either disposable or multiple set of instruments. But the trend is yet to pick up among most of the doctors in the city.

Dr Aggarwal feels that it does not cost much for doctors to use multiple set of instruments for various examinations. He says that ideally every patient should use his own thermometer, as this ensures safety from infections. He uses 20 to 30 thermometers during a day. He pointed out that usually the doctors place a few thermometers in a sterilising solution and use them frequently which is not medically safe. Any instrument needs at least one hour to get sterilised. To ensure this, he suggests that one should use at least a set of 20 thermometers, as this will ensure that a thermometer remains in a sterilising solution for at least one hour.

Similarly the tongue depressors used for throat examination is also a frequently used instrument by the doctors. However, the disposable tongue depressor being relatively less expensive is already being used by most of the doctors. However, Dr Aggarwal advises that all these depressors need to be autoclaved before the use. Autoclaving is a very simple method done in an autoclaving machine which does not cost more than Rs 5000. This needs to be done for all other equipments like gloves, masks and needles. Dr Aggarwal also uses multiple sets of dressing packs, which are kept in the autoclaving machines.

The other area where the doctors feel the dangers of using single set of instruments is in the dental examinations. Most of the dentists still use one or two sets of instruments, which include a probe, mirror and tweezers. The practice is more common in the free dental camps. In these camps, the dentists usually use one or two sets of such instruments, making the people more infection prone. The incident of ten students testing hepatitis positive last year was said to be due to the same reason.

Dental Research Institute of Versatile Education (DRIVE) has launched a campaign educating people about the risks of such examinations. According to Dr Puneet Girdhar, the Managing Director of the institute, the DRIVE emphasises the need and importance of disposable instruments which are easily and cheaply available in the market. These instruments are first washed with soap water and then kept overnight in the sterilising solution.

Some dental clinics have already started with this practice. Dr Anu Girdhar of Family Dental Clinic underlines the need for maintaining more hygiene while examining the dentures. She suggests that the dentists should use either disposable or multiple set of instruments to prevent infections. Moreover she stressed the need for using only disposable instruments in the dental camps. In fact she said the people should ask for disposable instruments.Back


Tension runs high in Chowni Mohalla
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The on -going tension in the Chowni Mohalla has boiled down to be nothing more than a tug- of-war between the members of the minority caste and the other majority communities.

Of late each of the two warring sides has been trying to prove their one-upmanship over the other. Even the tension created in the locality late last night was allegedly a result of this.

According to the information gathered by TNS here today, the dust had never settled on the violent incidents in the area that had become a part of the everyday life in this locality. This time the problem again began three days ago after a scuffle between members of the two sides. It is learnt that after a heated argument, two youth, Pradeep and Judgii( both members of majority community), beat up Diva, a member of a minority caste.

The members of the minority caste had then alleged that one of their members had been beaten up, abused and looted. The police had reportedly verified the incident and found these allegations baseless. However, the two above mentioned, Pradeep and Judgii, had been rounded up by the police and are still learnt to be in police custody.

It was on the basis of this that a few self styled leaders of the minority community reportedly went to the Police Station Division No. 4 and demanded that the police book the above-mentioned duo under the relevant sections. When the police refused to relent, the members of the minority caste allegedly dejected at not having their own way decided to effect a show of strength in the area.

Around 9:30 p.m. last night, a group of 20-30 people then marched down the roads of the locality allegedly with naked swords, sticks and rods in hand. However, the residents of the area refused to lie low this time and instead began pelting stones and throwing empty bottles at the marching crowd. It was then that the marching people fled from the scene.

But this was not the end of the tale as none of the two sides was willing to call it a day. It was around 10:30 p.m. that the members of the majority community staged a dharna on the G.T. Road and halted the flow of traffic. The police led by the DSP City, Mr, Sandeep Goel then had to resort to a lathi charge to disperse off the crowd. A large number of police personnel were rushed to the spot and the SDM (East), Mr. Kuldip Singh also visited the spot.

Since then, a large number of police personnel have been deployed in the area to avert any further tension.Back


‘Post-harvest losses need to be reduced’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Value addition and reduction in post-harvest losses will be tackled for the prosperity of the farming community, said members of the Institute Management Committee of Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, at their meeting held on Wednesday.

Dr B.S. Bisht, Director of the institute, chaired the meeting. Dr R.P. Kachru, Assistant Director-General and Dr S.M. IIyas, Assistant Director-General (P), ICAR Headquarters, Dr G.S. Padda, Professor, Food Science and Technology Department, PAU, Mr G.P. Sharma, Senior Finance and Accounts Officer, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, were among the participants. Mr R. B. Singh, Administrative Officer was the Member Secretary of the meeting.

Dr R.P. Kachru favoured a paradigm shift in favour of agricultural sector specifically for value addition and reduction in post-harvest losses.

CIPHET has been established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research at Ludhiana and Abohar for conducting research in lead areas of post-harvest technology and training of researchers and entrepreneurs. The institute was established on December 29, 1989, on the PAU campus and on March 13, 1993, at Abohar. It has 34 scientists.

Dr Bisht presented the achievements of the institute and expressed that by the year 2005, CIPHET would be the leading R&D organisation in the area of post-harvest technology in South East Asia.

Members of the Institute Management Committee visited laboratories and pilot plants. They reviewed the progress and suggested action plan for the future. Vision 2020 Perspective Plan of the institute has been prepared to guide the programmes and actions.

Dr Kachru was of the view that India should not export any agricultural material in the raw form. Value-added products should only be exported. Some sophisticated unit operations need high technology. But for primary and secondary processing, technology could be developed in the country. Through this, we can generate employment for our people and augment income to the people with increase in foreign exchange earnings. Post-harvest losses if not eliminated, could be reduced. We need interventions at the three levels of technology, management and policy.

According to Dr Sanjeev Tyagi, Scientist,CIPHET, technology management also needed adequate importance. Technology should sound and economically viable and it has to be further socially and traditionally accepted. The need of the day is to change the mindset. It should be changed in evolutionary manner.

The IMC emphasised the implementation of project management using matrix mode supported by project based and zero based budgeting systems. Scientists would have to generate resources through consultancy and production activities to meet the expenses on their R&D projects.

The IMC appreciated efforts of the institute in developing a number of post-harvest machines imparting training to Indian and foreign experts and bringing out useful publications.Back


Cell to help Sahnewal villagers
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, July 14 — A grievance redressal cell will be formed to solve the everyday problems of the people of rural areas surrounding Sahnewal,

Disclosing this here, Mr Santa Singh Umedpuri, Chairman, Marketing Committee, Sahnewal, said the cell would entertain the problems faced by people and take them up with higher officials. It would find a faster mode to their solution.

Another objective of the cell is to inform the people of the programmes and policies of the government.

The members of the cell would be Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, General Secretary, Akali Dal, Mr Gurmail Singh Sangowal, Member, SGPC, Baba Jagroop Singh, circle president, Mr Pawan Kumar Mandal, President, BJP, and Mr Jai Kumar Sharma.


Bukhara: a success story
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Success depends on a person's ability to transform his field of activity with his ideas. One such successful story is that of Mr Gurvinder Singh Chabbra, owner of Bukhara restaurant, which has been given on lease by the Punjab Government.

Having clear goals, being decisive, receptive to change and a positive attitude are the qualities that have contributed to Mr Chabbra's success. He decided to give this venture his best, working slowly but steadily towards excellence. Any venture for that matter can be a success if the right decision is taken at the right time.

Mr Chabbra realised the difference between activity and inactivity. Activity may not always get what we want, but there is a possibility of rewards at the end of the line, says Mr Satya, the manager of the restaurant.

Situated on the outskirts of Ludhiana, the restaurant, has not only been named after a bukhara, but is also shaped like one. A bukhara was the structure used by kings for residence when out for hunting expeditions.

Three halls have been constructed for parties, conferences, birthday celebrations and sundry get-togethers. Customers vouch for its good and peaceful atmosphere, cleanliness and wonderful services.

Bukhara has certainly proved to be competition for Amaltas, which is owned by Punjab Tourism, which needs to take a leaf from the former to realize what made Bukhara a success.

"Success and destiny is in your hands. Will it and it is yours. Life is full of opportunities. All you need is to go out and reach for the stars ", says a proud and confident Mr Chhabra.


School for child labourers planned
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — A three-day Punjab State Awareness Workshop on elimination of child labour was inaugurated today at Students' Home of Punjab Agricultural University. The workshop has been co-organised by the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and PAU Employees Union under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Mr S.S. Channy, Labour Commissioner, Punjab, while inaugurating the workshop, said that every member of society must take the responsibility to end the menace of child labour.

He also mentioned that a project to start schools for children of the age group of 8-14 had begun. Vocational training would be imparted to the children. Mid-day meals and stipend would also be given to them. NGOs and trade unions would be given charge of supervision of these schools.

Mrs Amarjit Kaur, Secretary, AITUC, and National coordinator AITUC cell, highlighted some cases of child labour in which they were subjected to inhuman conditions at the work place and paid inadequately.

The workshop will lay stress on the economics of child labour, legal issues, education, health etc in the next two days.


‘Aashi’ offers a ray of hope
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — A meeting of ‘Aashi’ was held in Red Cross Bhavan on Tuesday. Mrs Bubble Sandhu, the wife of the Deputy Commissioner, chaired the meeting. Two of the cases taken up were related to the alleged callousness of men. In one, woman was forced to live in Ludhiana as her husband had allegedly tortured her both physically and mentally. She had no choice but to come and stay with her parents who were too poor to support her. Jaspal Singh, her husband does not allow her to meet the children. She is on the verge of a nervous break down. Jaspal Singh reportedly wants to remarry on grounds of her insanity. Aashi decided that since the woman resided in Yamunanagar, they would refer the matter to the chairperson of the Yamunanagar unit of Aashi.

In the second case, a man allegedly beat his wife after consuming liquor. He didn’t even spare his children. Her brother couldn’t bear to see his sister’s condition and made a small house for her so that she could live in peace. But her husband came back to torture her. A social worker found her a job in a nursing home and also arranged to buy books for her children and pay their tuition fee. But he allegedly often locks the door when it is time for her to come back from work. For hours, she has to wait outside. He also throws away the stored water for washing clothes knowing very well that there is acute water shortage. He even cuts her clothes with scissors. She says that she is living only for her children. The organisation sent a registered letter to her husband to appear before it within a fortnight.

The third case was different from the first two. In this case the girl was asking for kila of land as a precondition to go back to her husband. She had left her husband’s house because she said that they had sold a truck, a tractor, and three kilas of land. Now she wanted the remaining kila transferred to her son’s name. She also accused her husband of being a drunkard. Her father, also, supported her claim.

Her husband, refuted the claim of being a drunkard. He explained that they had to sell the things because they were running at a loss.

Aashi decided to give her a fortnight to think about the pros and cons of staying with her father.


Vagaries of the English language
By A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The English language, though gaining popularity all over the world, remains the most unscientific. Most of the other languages are phonetically sound, like Sanskrit which is the most scientific language in the world. In Sanskrit, the words are pronounced as they are written. Hindi and other languages derived from Sanskrit are also phonetically sound.

George Bernard Shaw, the great playwright and popular after-dinner speaker, was so exasperated by the vagaries of this language that he was ready to give his earnings to a person who could make English more scientific.

In English, the first letters of the words pneumonia, psychiatrist, know, knife etc are silent. Is there any logic?

The plural of house is houses whereas that of mouse is mice. The pronunciation also varies for example, cut is pronounced differently from put.

Americans are trying to simplify English. For example, they spell ‘photo’ as ‘foto,’ and ‘programme’ as ‘program.’ The changes are creeping in.

But come what may, nobody can take away the beauty, the nuances, the pithy expressions and the vast vocabulary, from it. Noah Webster, the famous lexicographer, was once found kissing the cook in the pantry by his wife. The wife said, “Noah I am surprised at your action.” To which he replied, “you are amazed, dear. I am surprised at being caught.

In English, a lot of devices can be used to make the meaning easy to understand. One of the means is the use of parables.

The parables are used to illustrate moral lessons in an easy manner. The Bible, New Testament and the Old Testament, are full of parables to make the people understand what Jesus wanted to say. Who does not know the parable of the Good Samaritan? In this parable, a man lay injured on the road asking for help. A priest passed that way, then more travellers passed, but no one stopped to help him. Then came a man who was an inn owner, he stopped, bandaged him and took him to inn. The injured man offered him gold, but the innkeeper refused.

Similes also enrich English writing. Coleridge in the Rime of Ancient Mariner writes, “The Sun rose like a God’s head” when the mariners were tired of the cold and wet weather and had not seen the sun for days. Another figure of speech — the mataphor — is an imaginative use of a word or phrase to describe another object to show that they have similar qualities to make the description more forceful. For example, “She has a heart of stone” or “camel is the ship of desert.”

There is more in store. A pun lends great charm to a writing. You cannot find its exact substitute in any other language. It is a humorous use of a word that has two meanings or of different words that sound the same or play of words which lends immense charm to any piece of writing. There is a well-known joke based on a pun “What is black and white and red (read) all over? A newspaper.

Alliteration adds great joy to the reading of a light passage. It is the beginning of two or more words in close succession with the same sound as “Sing a song of sixpence” or “She sells seashells on the sea shore.

The English language can also be made humorous by the use of oxymoron — a figure of speech combining incongruous terms e.g. the description of Mohammad Tughlaq as a ‘wise fool’ makes the sentence alive.

All the other languages have their own beauty, too. But the vocabulary of English is increasing rapidly as it is incorporating words from all languages. So many Hindi words like ‘malmal’ ‘verandah’, ‘charpoy’ and hundreds more are found in the English dictionary.

The vagaries of the English language make it a unique language. It has great beauty and a wide range of vocabulary. It is truly a remarkable language in spite of its vagaries.


Of single mothers
From Asha Ahuja

July 14 — Single mothers remind us of Madonna or Neena Gupta who have willingly decided to raise their children themselves.

But this is not a new concept. Since ages, women like Sita and Kunti, have been raising their children for various reasons.

In America, 20 million women are raising their children singlehandedly. In India, however, the statistics of single mothers have not been drawn as yet.

Not all wish to be ‘single’ mothers but are often, forced by circumstances into the situation. Some teenage unmarried girls get pregnant. In most cases, the boyfriend refuses to accept the responsibility, and left with no choice, the girl has to raise the child. At times, the unwed mothers give their children for adoption. But in most cases, they keep the child. Even in cases of divorce, it is usually the mother who takes custody of the children.

They do a wonderful job of bringing up their children. ‘Yet, they are burdened with guilt for not providing the child with a father and the security associated with a complete family. They normally have to care for the child and also go to work as they are the sole breadwinners. A single mother is often walking a tightrope.

The children of single mothers often do quite well. They have seen the hardships faced by their mothers and they try to help them as soon as they are in their teens. When God shuts one door, He opens another. He gives the mothers confidence and the ability to raise their children well.

Sometimes, of course, without a father’s strict influence, the children may go astray. But that can happen even to a child belonging to a two-parent family.

The concept of single motherhood is gaining acceptability these days with marriages breaking up, girls maturing faster, experimenting with sex and becoming unwed mothers or voluntarily choosing to be single mothers. People do not look down upon single motherhood anymore. Change is the law of nature ’ and our society seems to be absolving some of it.


Computer exhibition begins
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — A three-day exhibition of computer products organised by Cyber Expo, the event management division of Cyber Media (India) Ltd, opened today at Ludhiana Stock Exchange.

Dealers of major hardware as well as software companies and Internet service providers are participating in this exhibition. According to Mr Madhusan, Assistant Manager (Programmes), the exhibition aims to promote information technology to the grassroot level. The home segment, which has become the largest buying segment, is the main target behind the exhibition.

The exhibition — PC Quest series - from the house of PC Quest, a computer magazine, is an annual event conducted at 25 cities across the country this year. Besides offering free CDs to the visitors, the technology team of the organisers is offering technology help to the general public.


‘Power tariff hike rational’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The Industries Welfare Association, held a meeting here yesterday to review the raging controversy regarding the hike in power tariff by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

After discussing the overall scenario of the weak financial position of the board and the prevailing power tariff in the neighbouring states (except HP), most of the members felt that the power hike is rational except for the medium supply. In their case the hike is 36 paisa per unit, whereas, it should have been 35 paisa per unit. They have appealed the government and the PSEB to reconsider the tariff hike for the medium supply and bring it down at par with others.


Which officer do you like — BBC or CBC?
From D.B. Chopra

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Lower-rank officials of the administration, who are pestered for information by a snoopy old hack like I or probed by a younger pattarkar for an exclusive, oblige quickly, but, are scared of one thing — the ire of the big boss.

In all major government and semi-government departments, there are lower-rank officials who come in contact with the Press. Some of them just can’t avoid it.

The other day, I was seated in front of one such officials. He readily gave me the information I was looking for. At the end of it, I queried if I could quote him.

“Naa, please. There are at least 20 officers above me. If they read my name in The Tribune or Ludhiana Tribune, they will literally tear me apart,” he said, with a slight tremor in his voice. Folding his hands, he said, “Please Sir, do not print my name.”

“Do not worry my dear Sardarji. I fully understand your predicament. You are no longer a name, you are now a “reliable source,” I said.

At this, another official, hitherto a silent spectator, intervened with a wide smile on his face. “Yes, if your promise is any good, we will have many things for you,” he said, before exchanging a glance with his colleague.

As I shook hands with the officials, I told them what I thought of them. “You are brave, but, careful men. No doubt about that,” I said.

Only a few days ago, I had run into a coward who won’t part with the information even if it was totally safe to do so. Being the head of a particular department, nobody could question his dealing with the Press on his own, but, he would not budge a millimetre.

These two specific cases can be safely generalised into two categories of officials dealing with the Press — the Brave-But-Careful and the Coward-But-Clever.

By providing the boss with an opportunity to get his name printed in a reputed newspaper, the CBC does “a favour to the boss”.

Well, which one do you fancy, dear reader — BBC or CBC?


Jail inmates fight 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — A fight between two jail inmates resulted in serious injuries to one of the inmates, Mohan Singh. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital for treatment. It is learnt that Bawa and Mohan Singh, both accused in different murder cases had a fight in the Ludhiana Central Jail. Bawa has been booked by the Focal Point police under Section 324 of the IPC.

Hosiery firm booked: A hosiery firm has been booked by the police on charges of cheating and theft. It is learnt that Narinder Kumar had cheated the Sales Tax Department by making a purchase of Rs. 16,99,9100 but showing nil returns with the department. A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered at Basti Jodhewal Police Station.

Scooter thief caught: Anil Kumar alias Sonu has been arrested by the Model Town police with a stolen scooter, registration number PB-10K- 5150. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered against him at Model Town Police Station.


Scooter theft: A Vespa scooter, PB 55-5508, is reported to have been stolen. The scooter owned by Nirbhai Singh, was with brother Pritpal Singh on the day of the theft. He had stood the scooter in front of his house and had gone inside to do some work. When he came out after about half-an-hour, the scooter was missing. Nirbhai Singh has got a report registered with the police.Back


Killers on the prowl
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The Ludhiana police has reportedly been kept on tenterhooks by two killers who are alleged to have committed at least three murders in the city during the past fortnight.

After the two accused, Baldev Singh and Baljinder Singh, struck again last evening and killed a mother-son duo, the police parties were dispatched to six places in the state to conduct raids and nab the accused, informed Mr Nirabhjit Singh, SHO Police Station Division No 6. It is learnt that police parties were sent to Bathinda, Moga, Sangrur, Patiala, Raikot and Patran, but without much success.

Baldev Singh, a resident of Jagraon and Baljinder Singh, a resident of Moga, are alleged to have strangulated Davinder Kaur, 40, and her son, Dharminder Singh, 15, at their Daba Road, New Simlapuri residence last evening. The two persons are stated to be regular visitors to the house of the deceased. It is alleged that the deceased woman has refused to initiate the marriage proceedings for Baldev Singh and this is stated to be the reason behind her murder. Police is working on the theory that Dharminder could have been killed after his mother.

It is learnt that the two accused are also involved in the murder of another woman, Harbans Kaur, from the Kot Mangal Singh locality. A few days ago, the woman was found dead in her house and she, too, had probably been killed after she had broken off the marriage negotiations of Baldev Singh. It is learnt that the two had earlier been tenants of the deceased.

Police sources also inform that the two accused were involved in another murder in Amritsar.


Bank manager trapped in vigilance net
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana Range claimed, to have achieved second consecutive success when a team comprising two DSPs, Mr Saroop Singh and Mr Saroop Singh Mann caught red handed a bank manager, Mr Anup Pal Singh Bhalla, of Punjab and Sind Bank, Sahnewal Branch, while accepting a bribe of Rs. 5000 today.

Giving details, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SP Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana Range, informed that the bank manager had demanded the bribe of Rs 5000 to release the balance amount to Rs 35,000 of loan passed by the Industry Department for Rs 1 lakh from Mr Santokh Singh of Dhaur village. He said that the complainant told the Vigilance Department that earlier on the release of first instalment of Rs 65,000, the manager had also got a bribe of Rs 7000. This time the complainant approached the Vigilance Department and a successful trap was laid.

Mr Bajwa said the manager put the money in the drawer of his table from where the Vigilance team had recovered the money in the presence of Mr Arun Sharma, BDPO Ludhiana-II, and Mr Ravinder Kumar, Senior Veterinary Officer, Animal Husbandry, Ludhiana. A case has been registered under Section 7/13 (2) 88 PC Act.


Sale of ACs picks up
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 14 — The air-conditioner sales have witnessed a phenomenal rise during the past three years in Ludhiana. Earlier, what used to be considered as a luxury for the affluent class is now a common thing for the average middle class families.

Air-conditioner distributors and retailers are optimistic and say this is likely to grow further. The air-conditioner sales are reported to have grown by about 200 per cent. This is primarily due to changed lifestyle and easy availability of the air-conditioner in the market.

According to Mr Rajesh Bansal, a leading air-conditioner distributor of prominent brands, the AC sales recorded about 100 per cent increase during the past three years. He revealed that the families with an average income of Rs 15000 a month now go for the air-conditioners. Most of the popular companies have introduced consumer friendly interest free finance schemes. Mr Sushil Tandon, who has been manufacturing the air-conditioners for quite some time, says that the sales of the air-conditioners are good during the marriage seasons.

Both Mr Bansal and Mr Tandon disclosed that the prices of the airconditioners came down considerably during the last two years. Earlier, an average air-conditioner with 1.5 tonne capacity would cost about Rs 32,000. Now the cost has come down to about Rs 23,000 only. Moreover, the consumer can pay just Rs 2,500 and make the remaining payment in interest-free instalments in a maximum of 12 months.

Due to a change in the weather and increased humidity in the atmosphere in early summer, the people have been opting for the air-conditioners as the coolers have been found ineffective for such a climate. While the air-conditioner sales have increased, the sale of the coolers has come down in urban areas. Moreover, an air-conditioner has also become the status symbol among the people.

Earlier there was a general norm that one family will get one air-conditioner. But now people prefer to instal air-conditioners in as many rooms as possible. But due to the easy availability in terms of soft instalments there is no restriction in the number of air-conditioners in a house. However, for the average middle class families running more than two air-conditioners may not be financially viable. An average air-conditioner of 1.5 tonne capacity costs about Rs 1500 a month in terms of electricity only.

While on the one hand the popular brands like Videocon, LG, National, Samsung, Hitachi, Carrier and Voltas have picked up their sales in phenomenal propositions, the local air-conditioner manufacturers have been hit adversely. Most of them have either wound up their business or have been selling the popular brands. Because there is not much price difference between a locally manufactured air-conditioner and any of the popular brand. Obviously the people opt for popular brands, which are available on interest-free instalments.

In Ludhiana there are about 25 major distributors and about 1100 retailers of popular brands of the air-conditioners. Most of them expect a good business in the coming times also. In fact, according to Mr Bansal it is likely to increase.


Attractive bone china items on display
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Mr Sagar, MD of UP Ceramics and Potteries, earlier known as Hitkari Potteries, has brought a fabulous display of bone china items from Ghaziabad, which has 18,000 beautiful pieces of pottery — dinner sets, soup bowls, coffee sets and tea sets.

"Bone china crockery is not only popular in India, but in neighbouring countries too," says Mr Sagar. It is used in almost all five-star hotels. The firm is manufacturing a series of designs and patterns of crockery along with artware items for drawing rooms, bathrooms and dining rooms, besides other artifacts like wall plates and photoframes at very affordable prices.

The dinner sets are range from Rs 1400 to Rs 3540. The range of tea sets is from Rs 465 to Rs 980. Coffee sets, with beautiful kettle and six mugs, are of extreme beauty. The latest creation is a beautifully made porcelain tea sets replica of Chinese tea sets. These are priced at Rs 990 and are a collector's item.

There are mugs of all kinds and shapes, soup bowls and such a homogenous variety of dinner set that one really cannot choose. The beautiful gold lines on the plates shine like real gold. The company is offering a discount from 20 per cent to 50 per cent on bone china crockery.

The MD of the company says, "This is our third exhibition in Ludhiana. The people of Ludhiana buy more bone china than the people of Amritsar and Jalandhar." The organisers hope to get a good response. The exhibition will stay on till the end of this month.


Global quality award for Safari Bikes
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 14 — Mr R.D. Sharma of Safari Bikes Ltd has been presented the XIV International Europe Award for Quality in Paris. Safari Bikes Ltd is India's first bicycle manufacturer to qualify for this award from Europe for producing and marketing a quality product.

The Safari Group of Companies is a Ludhiana-based industrial house engaged in the manufacture and export of bicycles. It has manufactured 30 models of bicycles for all age groups. The group is also a winner of the Bharatiya Udyog Rattan and National Industrial Excellence Award.Back


MC gears up for the rainy season
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA , July 14 — The Commissioner of the local municipal corporation, Dr S.S. Sandhu, has reviewed the arrangements for drainage of rain water in the city and the preparedness for the ensuing rainy season at a meeting attended by senior officers of the MC and the Drainage

Department here. Dr Sandhu informed that a control room in each of the four zones in the city had been set up, which would function round the clock. He impressed upon the officers to respond to messages from public immediately and to requisition men and machinery in case of threat of flood in any locality. He said sufficient number of sewerage cleaning machines, engines and JCB machines already available with the MC, were pooled for management during the rainy season.

The Superintending Engineer (O and M) of the MC, Mr S.S. Jandu, explained that the main reason for the accumulation of rain water on roads in the city was basically the high intensity of rain and non-clearance of the diversion made in the Buddha Nullah for the construction of the new bridges at Chander Nagar, Bajwa Nagar and New Madhopuri by the Drainage Department. However, the MC staff were able to clear the rain water within two hours.

Mr Jandu further informed that the O and M cell of the MC had launched a concerted drive to clean the sewerage and other drains in the city during the past one month to improve the flow of water and to check the apprehended damage from the rain water.

It was decided at the meeting that the four control rooms at the zone level would be connected by a wireless system and Zonal Commissioners would send their daily reports to Additional Commissioner S.K. Sharma who would monitor the arrangements.Back

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