Friday, July 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hospital occupying MC land without lease pact
Over 200 shops built along boundary wall
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, July 20 — It sounds incredible but it is absolutely true. Dr B. L.Kapoor Memorial Hospital, not only continues to occupy more than 12 acre land belonging to the Municipal Corporation for the past about 20 years, without a valid lease agreement, but the hospital management, during the period, has constructed 214 shops along the boundary wall on Old Sabzi Mandi Road in gross violation of the building bylaws and an undertaking given in the Punjab High Court in the course of a civil writ petition way back in 1955.

A sub-committee of councillors, headed by Senior Deputy Mayor Jagdish Prasad Loomba, in its inquiry report submitted to the MC general house, has made startling disclosures, charging both the hospital management, as well as the civic body officials, with gross irregularities. If the hospital management failed to enter into a fresh lease agreement with the MC after its earlier 30 years lease expired in 1980 and violated building bylaws in construction of the shops without approved building plans, the MC staff also kept its eyes closed to the goings on and did not take cognizance of various irregularities committed by the hospital management.

The report of the MC house committee, comprising Mr Pran Bhatia, Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Manjit singh Mundian, besides the chairman, Mr Loomba, says that more than 12 acre land, then known as Roshni Ground, was given on lease for 30 years by the Deputy Commissioner to the erstwhile Lahore Hospital Society in 1950. After expiry of the lease period in 1980, the hospital management did ask the MC for an extension in the lease, but even after a prolonged communication between the two parties, no fresh lease deed was signed in view of the fact that title of the said land was not clearly in the name of the civic body.

The MC administration came out of its slumber earlier this year, when the ownership of the land in its favour became irrefutable in the revenue records and found that in the intervening period, a full-fledged market had come up all along the boundary of the hospital, with shops having been constructed in 1997 without any approved building plan and way beyond the agreed measurements, the shopkeepers encroaching upon the vacant land behind their shops and on the top of it all, the shops having been allotted without government approval, which was mandatory as per the high court directions.

Information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the management of the hospital had taken hefty amounts reportedly in an underhand manner from the shopkeepers, who had extended the area of their respective shops by covering the verandah in the front and encroachment of the vacant land behind their shops, but for obvious reasons, nobody was prepared to go on record.

The inquiry committee has indicted the civic body staff as well for lapses on the part of building branch which failed to take notice of unauthorised construction of shops and only a single challan (dated 8-11-99) relating to the entire market was available on the records of the MC. Similarly, the house tax branch of the MC had reported that the assessment for the year 1997-98 was made, which was still not finalised.

The report of the inquiry committee was to placed in the general house and discussed in the meeting held on July 5 but the meeting was adjourned without transacting much business after a standoff between the BJP and the Congress councillors on the issue of encroachments.


Goldsmith held for theft at jeweller's shop
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 20 — It turned out to be a theft committed in order to get even with a former mentor and business associate who had led to the downfall of the accused.

Avinash Chander, a goldsmith in Sarafa Bazaar, reportedly stole 1.18 kg of gold ornaments from the shop of another goldsmith, who had allegedly first helped him establish his business and later when they fell apart, brought the accused to penury by refusing to give him any more business.

During a press conference held here today, Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Singh claimed that the police had solved the case within 24 hours of its occurrence. He informed that the preliminary investigation had revealed that Avinash Chander had gained access to the shop situated on the first floor through the adjacent building at around midnight.

He reportedly broke open the welded part of the latch of the front shutter and after entering the shop, pulled down the shutter from inside. Avinash, who had acquired some rudimentary skills in lock-smithery from his paternal uncle, then started trying his hand at opening the lock of the safe with a screw driver. After a couple of hours of struggle, the accused managed to open the safe and later fled with the gold ornaments at around 4.00 a.m.

The SSP informed that when the accused reached home, he wrapped the gold in a polythene bag, put this bag in the speaker box of a deck and left for Panipat around 5.30 a.m. by train to attend the kirya ceremony of his father's maternal uncle, reportedly as an alibi.

The SSP said that after the theft became known, the team headed by DSP (City) Sandeep Goel and SHO Police Station Division No 4 Kashmir Singh drew up lists of all possible suspects, witnesses, chowkidars of the area, workers employed currently and previously with the complaint and others who were familiar with the layout of this shop, which happens to be in the interior of the walled area of the market.

"During the preliminary investigation, of the case the needle of suspicion hovered around the above said accused and he was rounded up on his return from Panipat and during questioning he conceded his involvement in the crime. His disclosure led to the recovery of the stolen gold valued at around Rs 5lakhs," said DSP.

Meanwhile, the accused while talking to reporters, said the complainant Kewal Krishan was his distant relative. "He had brought me and my brother Vicky from Karnal and initially helped us by first employing my brother and training him. We then set up our own business and Mr Kewal Krishan was providing us with some assignments. Later, when we fell apart, he not only stopped giving us business, but also asked other jewelers not to give us any business."

He said as a revenge he decided to steal all gold from the complainant's shop.



No breach in Sutlej river
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 20 — Life remains normal in villages along side river Sutlej in this district as the river continues to flow far below the danger level. Though soil from the Dhusi Bundh has eroded at a few places, the situation is well under control and there is no immediate cause of alarm.

A survey of sensitive spots by a Ludhiana Tribune team on the bandh today revealed that contrary to reports published in a section of press, the river was carrying about 10000-12000 cusecs of water, whereas alarm bells ring only when more than 2 lakh cusecs of water flows in the river.

Sources in the district administration said that at places some damage was caused to studs and spurs due to sudden gush of water, especially at Kassawabad point near Phillaur and Madhepur village, but no breach had taken place.

In fact, people of Khera Bet village expressed surprise when the team enquired about the location of the breach. “ Yes, we too have heard about the breach in our village but where it is , we are yet to know,” said Manjit Singh a villager.

Work on strengthening studs and spurs at the Khera Bet point was in full swing. Workers were seen placing sand bags and huge stones along the bundh even as river flowed at a relatively low level .

Though no immediate cause for alarm was observed the erosion of the bundh at some points and damaged studs and spurs were enough indication for some danger in future. According to sources, the force of the sudden gush of water that damaged the bundh at these places would be nothing in comparison to the river’s fury when the monsoon would be in full swing.

According to sources, the flood protection work at the Kassawabad point started as late as last week of June and it is suspected that due to the delay, the bundh could not be properly strengthened.

Meanwhile, in a press release Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu contradicted his statement published in a section of the press today in which he had confirmed a breach at the Khera Bet point of the Dhussi bundh. He said no breach had taken place and an unnecessary panic had been created among the public.

The release said that the DC issues a strong denial of the reported breach in Sutlej river and claimed that no breach had taken place anywhere on the 99 km-long stretch of the Dhusi bundh.He said only a minor erosion had taken place at an under-repair spur at Kassawabad point and at a stud near the Khera Bet point .

The DC further said a team of irrigation officials, headed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr. S.R. Kaler, surveyed the Dhusi bundh and found there was no damage to the bundh and the situation was well under control.


Brave boy aborts robbery attempt
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 20 — A brave young boy here yesterday not only aborted an attempt by three men to rob his house but also managed to lock them inside one of the rooms. However, two of them managed to escape while the third was rounded up by the police.

At around 11 am, when two teen-aged children of Dr S.S. Dheer, Sherry and Tarunneet, were alone in their Madhubhan Enclave house, a man entered by scaling the outer gate. When Dr Dheer’s daughter Tarunneet came out, the man put a knife on her throat, while asking other two accomplices to get inside.

All the three entered the house and started beating Dr Dheer’s son Sherry, who was sleeping inside. However, Sherry put up a brave fight and managed to lock all the three inside one of the rooms within the house. The two children then raised the alarm.

However, by the time neighbours or the police could come all the three managed to escape from there. One of the three reportedly hid in an abandoned room in the adjacent plot. He has been detained by the police.


Will power is key to success

We are all familiar with the saying-’’Where there is a will, there is a way.’’ An individual with an iron-will, will have indomitable, unassailable rock-like determination. He will have the mental stamina to stick to his decisions and tasks. Nothing will deter the strong willed individual from his or her chosen mission.

Strong will-power invests a leader with supreme resoluteness, firmness of mind and decisiveness. It enables the leader to assert himself, accept challenges, be bold and enterprising. Will- power alone enables one to persist and hold on when everything appears lost. Without will-power one cannot aspire to be a leader.

One needs a good deal of will-power to persist with difficult tasks under trying conditions. There may be occasions when you may get into a tight corner and everything goes against you. It might appear you will not be able to hold on even a minute longer. But, you should never give up, for it is only a matter of time that the tide will turn in your favour. You need all the will -power you can muster up to resist the temptation to yield when the final effort is to be made. It is the last step in a race that counts.

We need will to carry on, to fight against temptations, to do things in the right manner. To jog along merrily as one of the crowd, to drift with the wind, to float with the current you do not have to make any wilful effort. But to be in the lead, make the rest follow your path, to march ahead as a path finder, and to accomplish great things, one must have strong will-power. To be a slave to your senses, you do not need will-power. But in order to be the master of your senses and, to maintain control, you cannot do without will-power.

A unique characteristic of will-power is that the more you exercise it, the more you develop it. It multiplies in geometric proportion in an individual each time he or she exercises it. Therefore, the only way one acquires a strong will-power is to begin by exercising it at each and every possible opportunity. The exercise of will-power will then become a matter of habit.

Every human being is born with a certain measure of will-power. Some exercise their will-power and develop it, whereas some fail to exercise it and allow it to remain dormant and weak. A leader who is keen to acquire a strong will power must begin by exercising his will-power whenever opportunities present themselves.

If you have planned to study or read during certain hours of the day, make sure you compete the studies or reading. Slowly and steadily tackle more and more difficult tasks. Use your will-power to stop yourself whenever you are tempted to criticise, to find fault, to talk ill of others, or to blame others. With the help of your will, be positive and eschew negative thinking, and attitudes. Let your will -power help you to build up good habits and discard bad habits like smoking,drinking,gambling and the like.

One motivating factor would be to contemplate on the advantages of giving up bad habits and the disadvantages of persisting with them. Other factors which strengthen one’s will-power are enthusiasm, optimism, faith, interest, keenness, a sense of responsibility and the strong desire to become a successful and effective leader.

One can also find inspiration to develop one’s will-power by reading the biographies and autobiographies of great persons as well as religious books. We can come to know how people have succeeded, overcome difficulties and risen to great heights by sheer will-power and determination. Thus we will gain knowledge and confidence, which, in turn, will help to build up our own will-power. — Gurvinder Singh Punaini


Where have childhood pleasures gone?
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA: Where have simple pleasures and joys of childhood vanished? Where have the simple joys of playing gilli danda, kho-kho, unch-nich, pithu garam, gittas and kanche gone? Today, most of the children are not aware of these games, let alone play these. The games mentioned above do not cost money, don’t need much space and provide a lot of exercise, specially hopscotch and jump.

Last when I saw girls playing with a rope was in the past decade. It is a delightful game and provides a lot of exercise. Two girls hold a rope at the ends and other girls come one by one and jump over the rope as it touches the ground. In case her feet is caught by rope, she is out. Then two more girls repeat the same.

Kho-kho has become a popular game at the national level, but it is not played by the students of the elite schools. May be some children in small towns and villages play these games but these have become totally obsolete for our ‘cyber kids.’

I really feel sorry for the kids of these days. They are so overburdened with studies, a heavy curriculum and tuitions that neither they have the time nor any inclination to do anything physical. They just want to sit in a comfortable chair, switch off their minds, and focus on cartoons, MTV or V channel. Movies are galore on every channel and children like to watch these much to the annoyance of the parents who want them to finish their homework.

Routine of this sort — eight periods of sitting in the class quietly ( that’s what a teacher wants) followed by fast food such as hamburgers, pizzas, noodles and drinking cokes and then rushing for tuitions, again sitting down and listening. After all how much can a passive listener absorb. Throughout the day, they are never active or vocal and thus become listless and passive. Fatigue sets over them making them disinterested in any activity which involve some running about.

When a child comes home he is completely exhausted. Then how can he think of games like pithu garam or gilli danda when he hasn’t had the pleasure of playing them ever.

The students hate physical exercise and prefer to watch cartoon channels. The psychologists say that cartoons show a great deal of violence and those hooked to these cartoon channels subconsciously absorb violence and become aggressive.

They prefer to playing pool, billiards or video games. Their brains don’t get rest .They are restless and unhappy. Their imagination lies dormant. All this is due to mundane, and unexciting routine. During school hours, they eagerly wait for the physical education period’ for it involves activity and is a welcome change from being rooted to their chairs, sitting like robots and listening disinterestedly to the teacher’s monotonous voice.

In comparison , a few decades earlier, unch nich, chhupan chhupi and pithu garam were hot shot favourites of the children. They never used to get any pocket money and these games were for free. These kept the children active and evoked in the players a team spirit. Of course antakshari was also a favourite game. This game, though enjoyable, does not involve any physical activity and therein lies its drawback.

Why do we deny our children the simple pleasures of life? Why are the educationists not easing the load of studies? Why are the parents always urging their children to be studying for ever? Why do the teachers burden the students with so much of home work? Why have the tuitions become such a necessity? Why don’t we find solutions to all these problems and then ease the load of studies off the children’s back and bring smiles back to their faces.

The parents too must play with their children these simple games of yesteryear. Let the whole family enjoy the pleasure of pithu garam or hop scotch. Parents should not pander to the demands of the children and give them food lacking in nutrition, but plan nutritious and balanced meals. If meals are served attractively, children will surely relish them.

As the responsible members of the society, we have to give freedom to our children to enjoy their youth. Alas! it lasts only for a short time. Why should we rob them of simple joys of life? Let the education system be easy on them. 


No thoughts for others

It appears to me as if we were standing at the crossroads of history. The sense of destitution has given way to the feeling of plenty. It is indeed a step forward. But this is not the end of the road. The ultimate aim of production is not production of goods. The “humanistic conception” should reign supreme in the materialistic world. Only then human beings will be associated with one another in terms of equality. This will help create “wise citizens of a free community” in which liberty and individual creativeness will flourish. The people will be the masters of their fate and not merely tools of production. In the final analysis, the human mind would expand to a desirable degree.

When I look around in this metropolitan city, I find everything in plenty except the fellow-feelings. The minds appear to have been wrapped up in polythene and there is no scope for the fresh air to enter inside. A host of people move about in the vehicles of different shapes and structures. They stop gingerly at the red lights and rush forward recklessly at the green signals. Like automations they perform their duties, unmindful of the plight of others around. Everyone appears of be tense and over-strung and ready to burst out at the slightest provocation. No logic is welcome except that of self-interest and self-aggrandizement. Mind is attuned to self-projection and focused on selfishness.

People fall in line with others without being aware of the peculiar situation. Silence, deep as a deserted basement, prevails in the minds and the words uttered on rare occasions smack of aversion and antipathy. No forthright expression of views, no frank discussion and no reaching out to the heart of the matter. Uncertainty prevails and the dread of the unknown weighs heavy on the mind. Money is spent, when the occasion so demands, lavishly and obscenely. With no holds barred, the social image is built up and maintained. For the sake of contacts, social as well as official, nothing is too expensive or beyond reach. With such a mindset, there is no scope for the thawing of the frozen springs of magnanimity and benevolence.

In this age of commercialisation and consumerism, when there is a glut of commodities in the market and the currency notes are shuffled frequently like playing cards, the human souls have shrivelled and crinkled. The poor souls residing in opulent frames have created a strange paradox in society.

The people moving around, particularly in the higher echelons, appear to have minds but not hearts. They can spend a lot on themselves and their progeny but when the occasion comes for handing over something worthwhile to others, as a gesture of goodwill, they recede into the cave of niggardliness. It is not the gift, expensive or otherwise that matters, but the working of the mind of the person concerned that comes into focus.

There is no doubt that the human society is in the grip of conflicting demands today. Welcome otherwise in a different context, the technical advancement had rendered life more convoluted and complicated. Material acquisition and self-gratification have become the be-all and end-all of the affluent people. It is considered rather nasty to talk about inequity, injustice, suffering and misery that is prevalent all around. The glitter of material prosperity has eclipsed the various aspects of human existence. As a result, the man of today has become mentally shallow and spiritually barren. But all is not lost if we pause and think.


Ludhiana hosiery gets good response in fair
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 20 — Ludhiana hosiery got a good response at the Indian International Garment Fair, which concluded recently at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Leading hosiery brands from the city participated in the fair jointly under the banner of the Knitwear Club.

According to Mr Vinod Thappar, president of the club, nearly 300 buyers and agencies visited the fair. The club stall was the attraction for all buyers and buying agencies. Buyers from all over the world visited the stall and appreciated the products displayed. Garment designs , colour pattern and workmanship were the unique quality features that attracted the buyers at the stall. The buyers included from France, Hungary, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Mexico and many other countries.

They gave their requirements and specifications that have been forwarded to the manufacturers concerned for follow up along with contact details of buyers. This participation is likely to generate a lot of business for the participants.

Mr Narinder Miglani, general secretary of the club, said the club with UNIDO and the Cluster Development Programme supported participation in the fair for promoting trade and business interests of its members. This was an excellent opportunity for the garment manufacturers to exhibit their outstanding creations to the international and national buyers. It was also a treasure hunt for the buyers to discover the exquisite source of knitwear and the potential of Ludhiana.

A general outcome remains that the exhibited products are ready to compete in the international market. This exposure would further strengths and eliminate shortcomings if any.

Besides, active order and enquires this endeavour gave the critical feedback on the products demanded in the international markets and the intensity of the competition.. All these would be important inputs for the industry that is striving to excel in the international arena.


Farmers advised to grow moong
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 20 — Dr J.S. Kolar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, has suggested to the farmers to sow moong crop in the fallow areas of the state. Because of the recent widespread rains in the state the farmers can sow this crop immediately. The yield will be fairly good if the crop is sown without further delay. The farmers should procure the seed from a reliable source. Sufficient seed of moong variety ML-613 is available with the university and can be purchased on any working day from its seed shop. The plants of this variety are medium statured, mature in about 85 days and yield approximately about 507 kg per acre. They have bold, shining grains with good cooking quality.


IOB, CMC launch health scheme
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 20 — Indian Overseas Bank in association with CMC Hospital, Ludhiana, yesterday launched a health check-up scheme, Aarogya savings scheme. The scheme was launched by Mr R.Venkataramni, general manager,IOB.

The scheme has been launched with the purpose of conducting regular health check-ups at periodical intervals for the public which were essential, keeping in mind the adage “prevention is better than cure’’. The hospital has agreed to extend this facility to IOB customers holding Aarogya savings account, at a discount of 10 per cent.

All existing and new customers (individuals and joint account holders only) are eligible to open the Aarogya savings account”. The “Aarogya account” holder for availing the concession at CMC hospital, Ludhiana will get a health card for himself, the spouse and two children.

Mr Venkataramni briefed the newspersons of the business that the bank had done during this financial year and the Chief Regional Manager Mr G.S. Matta, gave details about the bank’s schemes to go high-tech further whereby after full computerisation the remaining three out of a total of seven branches in Ludhiana planned to introduce ABB (any branch banking), which is only available at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta as of now.

The IOB also inaugurated the ATM services at CMC Hospital here. The services were inaugurated by Dr T.M. Jaison, Acting Director of the CMC.


Dye industry dying for govt incentives
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 20 — The dumping of industrial and chemical dyes by Peoples Republic of China at rock bottom prices in the Indian market during the past two years has led to virtual closure of a large number of domestic units engaged in the manufacture of dyes and the resultant mass unemployment and idle capacity has created so many other problems.

The industry circles attribute the prevailing situation to short-sighted policies of the central government, which failed to react to the impending danger arising from unrestricted imports to India and countries like China taking advantage to create and later consolidate the dye market in the country.

According to Mr Gopal Bhushan, president of the Industrial Dyes and Chemicals Association, the Chinese manufacturers, on the basis of subsidies and other incentives offered by their government, were able to cut their prices to almost half within past two years. For instance, a particular Chinese made dye, which was sold in India at $ 8.00 per kg in 1998, was now being offered at $ 3.75 per kg.

It is pertinent to note here that the prices of crude oil, the basic raw material for the dyes and chemicals industry, had gone up in the international market during this period.

A leading dye manufacturer of the city, Mr Harminder Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that almost without exception, the dye manufacturing units in the city and elsewhere had closed down their manufacturing facilities and instead were selling products imported from China, simply because the local products had been rendered absolutely uncompetitive.

The industry circles strongly feel that the domestic dyes and chemicals industry was doomed and destined to reach a point of no return unless the government came out with such policies that would atleast create a level playing field for the domestic units and provide checks to unrestricted dumping of foreign made products.

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