Sunday, July 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ten Nihangs held under NDPS Act
Tribune New Service

LUDHIANA, July 22 — In a special drive launched by the CIA staff, 10 members of the Nihang community, alleged to be selling cannabis (bhang) in various parts of the city, have been arrested.

A team of CIA staff led by Inspector Maninder Bedi raided a place near CTI College on the Gill road and arrested them while they were distributing cannabis for selling it further in different parts of the city.

According to information, Pipal Singh, the leader of the group, was arrested along with Kartar Singh, Rajinder Singh, Kulwant Singh, Amarjit Singh, Jagir Singh, Karamjit Singh, Sanjay Kumar, Jinder Singh and Kuldeep Singh. It is learnt that they were selling cannabis in Simlapuri, Salem Tabri, Transport Nagar, Dugri, Rahon Road and Labour Colony in the city and also in Khanna and Jagraon.

Interestingly almost all those arrested were over 50 years of age and confessed to be in this business for the past 20 years.

While talking to TNS, the ring leader, Pipal Singh, said that their clients were mainly labourers and they were selling bhang in the form of biscuits, pakoras, tikkis and sharbat. He also informed that the leaves of cannabis were growing at almost all roadsides and that they were picking up the leaves from there.

The accused have been booked under Sections 18, 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.


YC leader alleges illegal detention
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 22 — Youth Congress leader Nirdosh Dhand, who had been missing since July 20, has alleged that he had been illegally detained by the Patiala police in a case relating to murder in Ludhiana.

While talking to TNS here today after his release late last night, Mr Dhand alleged that he had been kidnapped by SI Surjit Chand of the Ropar police while he was going to attend a bhog ceremony. “I was taken to Patiala in a car by policemen in plainclothes and kept by the CIA staff there.”

Interestingly, Mr Dhand also said that he had learnt that the above mentioned Sub-Inspector was presently facing suspension and questioned the latter’s role in his detention.

He said the police had picked him up on the suspicion of his involvement in the murder case of Malkiat Singh, brother of Baba Ajit Singh Poohla in February last year. He further alleged that he was subjected to physical and mental torture and pressurised to confess to murdering of Malkiat Singh. “When I refused to buckle under any pressure and when the police was pressurised by senior leaders of the Congress party, I was let off around 11:00 p.m. last night,” he said.

Mr Dhand was accompanied by Mr Davinder Singh Babbu, president of the Punjab Youth Congress. He said the party would protest against the “atrocity” on a senior Youth Congress leader, but any plan would be formulated after consultation with the PPCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh. He also criticised the Patiala police and questioned its role in picking up a suspect in a murder case registered at and being investigated in Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, SI Surjit Chand of the Ropar police, when contacted by TNS, denied that he was involved in picking up Mr Dhand.” In fact, on the day that Mr Dhand went missing, I was with a few friends in the Ludhiana Circuit House. The next day I had to appear as a witness in a case in the High Court and I was in Chandigarh.”


PSEB leads in consumer complaints
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 22 — A dubious distinction earned in recent years by the Department of Telecommunications of facing the highest number of complaints by consumers in the District Consumer Redressal Forum, here, is all set to be overtaken by the Punjab State Electricity Board .

The power-supplying department has faced almost one-third of the 500-plus cases taken by the forum in the first half of the current year while the figures available for the last four years reveal that the ‘honour’ went to the Telecom department with the insurance companies coming second.

According to the record of cases against government departments and public sector undertakings reported in the forum since 1996, the Telecommunications Department had faced as many as 477 complaints out of the total 120 received in the forum till the end of the year 1999. The insurance company category, which includes the General Insurance Corporation as well as Life Insurance Corporation, had faced 223 complaints.The latest leader, PSEB, was placed at third position with 174 complaints .

Nationalised banks were next in the list with 105 complaints, while the Department of Posts and Telegraphs as well as the Indian Railways were at the last with 74 and 66 complaints respectively. The Telecom as well as the insurance companies can now relax a bit as the PSEB has taken over the dubious laurel from them and that too in the first six months of this year.

A perusal of the cases, decided, as well as under consideration, in the forum against the PSEB, reveals that most of the complaints refer to either allegations of theft of energy or overcharging in power supply bill. Consumer case experts believe the trend is because of increased awareness among the public regarding consumer rights as well as of the minute PSEB rules and procedures which were earlier not known to the common man. Another contributing factor is that the PSEB has highest number of consumers and will naturally have more complaints.

Sources disclosed that though the factor of high number of consumers and hence more complaints is strong enough, but the complaints against the PSEB is also because of the increased awareness among the public about their rights.They said that is why there is more number of complaints from urban areas whereas rural areas have more consumers.

Lately the Department had enforced some anti theft measures as the complaints connected with theft formed the majority. He said it has been seen that people try to hide their wrong doing and approach the forum, but such complaints are detected and dismissed.

According to Mr S.S. Sarna, a consumer cases expert, the number of complaints is on the rise as people in the past had no option but to approach the Disputes Settlement Committee for redressal of their grievance. Now the consumer courts have offered them another convenient and relatively cost free platform to get justice.

The forum, he said, went to minute details of a case and the department had to follow all rules and guidelines, say in a theft case, in order to prove the consumer wrong. He said earlier the consumer had no option but to compromise whereas now with the advent of consumerism, people have become aware of the proceedure required to be followed in each case and also their right to contest the department’s version.Back


Cong’s protest against price hike
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 22 — Congress and youth Congress workers today took out a massive protest march to voice their concern over spiralling prices of essential commodities, power tariff hike, corruption and ‘anti-people’ policies of the government. Congress MP Gurcharn Singh Ghalib led the march, which was organised by the District Congress Committee (urban). The party activists assembled at the DCC headquarters, where a rally was organised. Later, carrying banners, placards and shouting slogans against the SAD(B)-BJP government, they went in a procession through main bazars of the city.

Addressing the rally, Mr Ghalib made attacks on the ‘malfunctioning’ of SAD(B)-BJP government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He said the government had failed on all fronts. Every section of the people was feeling crushed under the burden of ‘unrealistic taxes and rising prices. The recent decision of the government to increase the power tariff had further exposed the government, which had promised to provide a clean and transparent government, like that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The DCC(U) President, Mr Surinder Dawar, charged the government with a plan to annihilate the trade and industry in state by a heavy dose of taxation and power tariff hike. He further said that the urban population and the industry was being throttled to make up the huge losses suffered by the PSEB on account of supplying free power to farm sector. The government led by Mr Badal had done nothing else than harassing the members of trade and industry, burdening the common masses with more and more taxes and patronising corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.

Mr Devinder Singh Baboo, President of Punjab Youth Congress, lambasted the alliance partner, the BJP, for being a mute spectator to the ‘exploitation of urban people, just for the sake of a few ministerial berths’. He said the BJP leadership stood exposed and by shedding ‘crocodile tears’ they would not be able to befool the masses any longer.

Besides others, former Punjab Ministers, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Isher Singh and the DYC President Mr Pawan Diwan, also joined the protest march. 


Badal’s effigy burnt
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 22 — The Bhartiya Valmiki Sabha, Ludhiana, today burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at Ghanta Ghar chowk here in protest against the “anti-people, and anti-Dalit” policies of the government and the increase in power tariffs.

Earlier, a procession was taken out from Nali Mohalla to the venue, which was led among others by the Sabha chairman, Mr Som Dutt Sahota, Lala Jiwan Kumar, president; Mr Sudesh Gharu vice-president; Mr Shammi Hans, press secretary; Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, Mr Amar Nath Bharti and Mr Jagdish Gill.

Addressing the protesters, the leaders attacked the Badal government for not fulfilling the promises made to the people. They accused Mr Badal of ignoring the public and promoting family interests. They warned that if the Badal government did not reverse its “anti-Dalit policies” they would resort to a bigger movement against the government.

Those who addressed the gathering included among others, Mr Ashok Hans, Mr Jagdish Mahimi, Mr Charanjit Pardesi, Mr Joginder Joshila, Mrs Savitri Devi, Mr Kishan Lal Malhotra, Mr Rahul Nahar, Mr Tejpal Prashar, Cdr Suresh Kumar. Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Rakesh Hans.


A penny for your dreams...

A small and insignificant hamlet, Mir Hota, changed its character with the arrival of the Soods from, Sirhind descendants of the skilled Kashmiris from the valley; the migration of the Gujars from the Lower Shivaliks in search of greener pastures, and later, the addition of the Kabuli Thapars whose ancestors had fought countless battles but later craved for a peaceful way of life. It is they who built the Rajput style havelis and developed gardens of the present-day Ludhiana. The Nighara from an earlier period and the Bagh Sitaram Singh ( the present-day Gulmor Hotel) stand testimony to the British era.

The weavers who arrived, were highly skilled in the use of the khaddi. They were concentrated in the present-day Khudd Mohalla-Iqbal Ganj area. It is interesting to recall that it was known as the Khudd Mohalla because of the Khaddis. In 1947, when 80 per cent of the city’s population left it a couple of days after the declaration of Independence of August 15, the influx of migrants from Pakistan changed the demographic and lingustic character of the city.

The Persian script offered no phonetic clarity, so the Khadd changed to Khudd! Similarly Nigaar (which means beauty and here implies dancing woman) became Nigaar Mandi.

The migrants wiped their tears and started afresh. They turned their dreams into realities — Hero, Avon, Ralson, Punjab Ball Bearings, G.S. Autos and many more prove that the human mind with planning and thinking can achieve what it aspires to. These industrial houses translated dreams into reality.

Ludhiana now has a link with Japan, thanks to Hero Honda. Of course, there are many who failed. But for those who are willing to work hard in this city,the sky is the limit. 


AIYC plans to gherao Parliament on July 24
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 22—The All India Youth Congress (AIYC) treasurer, Mr Shailendra Singh Chauhan , has condemned the Centre for what he described as 'misusing the Constitution and Parliament for its political motives'.

Addressing a party workers meeting at the District Congress Committee headquarters here last evening, he said the wrong policies of the government were creating fresh problems for the common man and pushing the country towards religious fundamentalism.

Mr Chauhan, who was here to mobilise the party workers for the proposed rally and gherao of Parliament in Delhi on July 24 against rising prices and anti-people policies of the government, further said that the NDA government, led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was bent upon disturbing the communal fabric of the nation through its tacit support to those elements responsible for perpetuating violent attacks against minorities.

The AIYC activist charged the SAD(B)-BJP government in Punjab, the INLD government in Haryana and the National Conference government in Jammu and Kashmir for adopting repressive measures to suppress the voice of the people. He observed that the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, was trying to break the country by raising the demand for autonomy and maintained that the Youth Congress would offer stiff resistance to such separatist demands.

The Punjab Youth Congress president, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, slammed the government for spurt in prices of essential commodities and power.

Mr K.K.Bawa, secretary PPCC, the YC observer, Mr Rajesh Lalkotia, party activists namely Mr Gopal Monga, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Rajbrinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Jaswinder Sabi, Mr Sumit Batish and Mr Pawan Kharbanda, were prominent among those present the meeting.


One killed in accident
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 22 — Ajay Kumar was killed and Asha sustained serious injuries when their Maruti car was hit by a Mahindra Jeep bearing registration number HR-23A-4246.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 279, 337, 338, 304-A and 427 of the IPC at the Sadar Police Station, Asha alleged that the accident occurred near Baddowal when the jeep driven by Amarjit Dhir hit their car.

Four booked
Four persons have been booked by the Jodhewal police on charges of forcible possession of Surinder Kumar’s land and damaging his crops. A case under Sections 427, 447, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered against Parminder Singh, Jagjit Singh, Anwar Ali and Avtar Singh.

It is learnt that the disputed piece of land belonged to the Wakf Board and was leased out to the complainant eight years ago.



A touch of magic to your dream home!
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 22 — “Alas! the door should not have been here and the window should have been higher and if this cupboard had been on the other side then we could have used this space for a nice picture!” Sounds like you have heard it before. This cribbing occurs in almost all households as we had to imagine our dream homes with the help of maps drawn on the paper. Though, there is nothing wrong with it, the plans do not provide for minute details.

All this is now set to become a thing of the past. Thanks to the rapid developments in computer-aided interior designing, one can visualise on the screen how the living room or the dining room will look like. Not only the colour combinations on the walls, one can even check where furniture should be placed and whether the setting is right or not.

The technology has added advantages for architects as well. A plan, if drafted manually on paper takes days, but it takes less than an hour when designed on computer. An architect generally has to present before his client not one but a few designs to cater to with his needs.

These designs are often the same with minor changes. When these are drafted manually, preparation of different designs consumes a lot of time and paper. But with the use of computers, after making one basic design, one can make alternate designs with minor changes.

When it comes to incorporating further changes as per the need of the client, there is no need of a new map. A few clicks of the mouse do the trick.

Says Jaideep Arora, an architect, who started the use of computers with two softwares, AutoCAD and 3D Home Architect recently “ Use of computers has enhanced our efficiency. Time saving is equivalent to money saving. We are now able to finish the planning part much quickly. Besides, we are not dependent on draftsmen.”

Another significant advantage of the use of computers over manual work is that of accuracy. Designs on computers are error free. Plans may be drafted with cent per cent correct dimensions and angles.

According to Manish Arora, another architect, computers also help in calculating the total expenses which are incurred in a particular design. The list of requirements may be prepared and the current price of each commodity may be fed in advance. The rate of inflation may also be added up for the estimated period of construction.

He said, another advantage of the use of computers is, that these help in giving a nice presentation to the clientele. Slide-shows of various options of designs from various angles may be made and shown to the clients. Visual effects of Photoshop may add a touch of magic to presentation. Chances of clinching orders then become greater.

With the growing trend of the use of computers in this field, some local institutes have started offering computer-aided interior designing.

Several youngsters are taking this course at NIFD. Says Mr Arvind Gupta, “ Demand for computer-literate interior designing is on the rise. Several architects approach us with attractive job offers for our students.”

However, the use of computers and the softwares needed, requires a huge investment. A large-sized printer is also essential.

Architects are supposed to be brimming with creativity and this creativity comes from within. Computers merely act as a catalyst to speed up the process. — Deepkamal Kaur




The markets went in to tail-spin during the week ended 21.07.2000. The BSE sensex opened at 4874.41 on Monday and closed at 4463.66 on Friday showing the net loss of 8.42%. LSE index opened at 148.62 on Monday and closed at 141.87 on Friday showing the net loss of 6.75 points.

LSE Securities Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange has entered into trading alliance with the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Mumbai (BSE) by way of acquiring corporate membership of two premier stock exchanges of India i.e. NSE and BSE. Screen Based Trading System and trading at remote sites through VSAT have brought down geographical barriers resulting into spread of bigger stock exchange all over India posing a threat of survival to the smaller stock exchanges. The proposal in respect of survival of smaller stock exchanges was discussed in the meeting of all stock exchanges held at SEBI, Mumbai on August 09, 1999. LSE proposed in the meeting that smaller stock exchanges should be allowed to become trading members of bigger stock exchange through their subsidiary to enables the members of the smaller stock exchanges to trade in the market of bigger stock exchanges. The proposal of LSE evoked positive response from SEBI and it allowed the LSE and other small stock exchanges to have independent strategic alliance with bigger stock exchanges, The LSE, therefore, decided to seek the membership of BSE and NSE through its subsidiary Company - LSE Securities Limited. LSE floated a scheme for its members for acquiring trading rights/facilities at NSE ad BSE. The scheme evoked very good response from the members with 90 members opting for trading rights at NSE and 60 members opting for trading rights at BSE.

The Mega project will cost Rs. 5.50 crores approximately, which include interest-free security deposit of Rs. 2.50 crores of NSE, Rs. 50.00 lakh towards cost of membership card of BSE, hardware, software and other related equipment for connectivity with both NSE and BSE. The project for development, installation and maintenance of MULTEX (Multiple stock Exchange) traded system was awarded to CMC Hospital, CMC Limited is testing the software at Pune and is likely to commence testing the software at Ludhiana and mock trading in the lst week of this month. Hardware equipment for VSAT connectivity a computer hardware for MULTEX System has already arrived at LSE premises. The "live" trading on BSE and NSE is likely to take off in August, 2000. Hitherto, this privilege was available to high networth brokers. As a result of trading at BSE and NSE through the subsidiary route, the number of players who will have access to NSE and BSE will increase with consequential benefit investors in the form of reduction in brokerage charges and better services.

Hero Honda Motors Limited came out with the audited results for the year ended 31.03.2000 recently. During the year 1999-2000, the Company has sold 7,61,623 motorcycles showing growth of 43.6% over the previous year. The profit after tax increased by 59% from Rs. 121 crore to Rs. 192 crore. Over the years, the Company has been able to manage its total debt very judiciously. In the year 1995-96, total debt of the Company was Rs. 54 crore, which increased to Rs. 104 crore in the year 1996-97. Total debt of the company in the year 1999-00 was Rs. 65 crore. Market capitalisation of the Company has grown by 6 times from Rs. 579 crore in the year 1995-96 and to Rs. 3874 crore in the year 1999-00.

Long term debt/equity ratio of the Company, which is considered as bench mark of prudent financial management of a Company was 0.1. for the year 1999-00. Earning Per Share (EPS) of the Company for the year 1999-00 was Rs. 48. The Company is the undisputed market leader in motorcycles and has been able to achieve growth at the times when the economic conditions were against it. During the year 1998 when the recession bug struck the automobile sector, forcing companies to cut down production to avoid build-up of excessive inventory, the Company was able to scale new heights because of its innovative initiatives directed at increasing its market share, production columns ad enhancing the value and impact of its servicing through quality, sincerity and customer commitment. The Company has also declared unaudited financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2000. During the quarter the Company sold 2,39,542 motorcycles as compared to 1,61,466 during the corresponding quarter ended June 30, 1999. Profit for the quarter was Rs. 60 crore as compared to Rs. 38 crore during the previous year showing the increase of 58%. The company plans to sell on e million motorcycles during the current financial year and has plans to introduce new models every year, which would not only increase its market share, but also consolidate its undisputed leadership in the motorcycle segment. The Company has plans to make capital expenditure of Rs. 200 crores in the next two years. The Company is an undisputed leader in the motorcycles segment and the scrip has always outsmarted the sensex. The scrip closed at Rs. 1129 on Friday.

RBI has intervened in the forex market by increasing and rate by 1 percentage point to 8% and Cash Reserve Ratio by 0.5% to stem the downfall in Rupee which sled below Rs. 45. The move is likely to stablise the rupee and prevent selling pressure by FIIs in the capital markets. In fact, one of the reason of melt down of sensex in the last week was consistent fall in rupee, triggering selling pressure by FIIs to protect the value of their investments. The rupee is likely to be stable in the next week. The sensex is likely to gain in the next week from its closing point of Friday.

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