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


Surcharge on ST depresses car sales
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Thanks to an additional surcharge of 1 per cent on the sales tax, besides 2 per cent charge on the billing amount at the time of registration, the sale of automobiles in Punjab is reported to have plunged by about 50 per cent in past one month.

In sharp contrast to the decline in sales in Punjab, there has been a corresponding increase in sales of motor vehicles in the neighbouring states like Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, where there is no surcharge. This is also reportedly causing a loss of about Rs 10 crore that the state could earn on account of sales tax.

According to the details and figures available from the Punjab Auto Dealers Association, the sharp fall was recorded in the month of August, although it had started immediately after the introduction of uniform sales tax in the country.

After the Government of India introduced uniform sales tax rates across the country in May at the rate of 12 per cent, the Punjab Government imposed a surcharge of 1 per cent on the sales tax. This brought the total tax on automobiles to 13.2 per cent. The difference of 1.2 per cent, which seems to hit hard the automobile sales in Punjab.

According to Mr Suraj Dada, Chairman and Managing Director of Dada Motors and president of the Punjab Auto Dealers Association, there has been about 50 per cent fall in the sales of vehicles right from scooters to heavy vehicles like trucks.

Giving details, he said, on an average, about 4000 four-wheelers besides about 11,000 two-wheelers used to be sold in Punjab every month. But reports from various parts of the state revealed that the sales was declining and in August it had come down by about 50 per cent.

Substantiating his argument Mr Dada pointed out a Zen car costs 3.5 lakh, without the surcharge and 2 per cent registration charges which are not levied in neighbouring states like Haryana, not even in Chandigarh. Including the surcharge, the same car will cost about Rs 12,200 more in Punjab than in Haryana or Chandigarh. And people prefer to make purchases and registration in these states only.

It is not just the automobile dealers who are suffering on account of the increase in surcharge. The state government is also losing considerable revenue. On an average the state government would get a revenue of about Rs 20 crore every month on account of the sale of vehicles. The decline by 50 per cent in sales means a straightway loss of about Rs 10 crores every month.

Mr Dada pointed out, taking the average cost of normal Zen car which is about Rs 3.5 lakh the car will be costlier by about Rs 4000 in Punjab. This excludes the registration charge on billing amount and the octroi levied at the rate of Rs 1000 per car , which brings the difference to about Rs 12,000. The difference in the premium car segment becomes much more. This only encourages the customers to purchase vehicles from neighbouring states like Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh, depending upon the proximity of the state.

The Punjab Automobile Dealers Association had raised the issue of registration of cars owned by people in Punjab, in Haryana with the Transport Commissioner, Punjab. He had in turn brought it into the notice of his Haryana counterpart. Because at the time of registration of a vehicle a person needs to provide the proof of residence in that particular area, where he is registering his vehicle. This condition is reportedly being ignored by the authorities in Haryana as this fetches them extra revenue.

The Punjab Auto Dealers Association has been making a strong case for the abolition of surcharge on sales tax and also 2 per cent tax on the actual billing amount at the time of the registration of the vehicle. This will be in the interest of the state, as it may not lose the revenue that goes to other states.

Most of the leading dealers in Punjab are reportedly planning to shift their operations into neighbouring state.


Suspended teacher alleges mental torture
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — There seems to be no end to the woes of Mrs Saroj Sharma, whose long and seemingly unending ordeal started with her suspension in January 1999.

Mrs Sharma, a senior teacher of Department of Mathematics, Punjab Agricultural University, who served the university for almost 33 years, alleges that she has been subjected to mental torture and humiliation.

According to Mrs Sharma, she has not been paid 75 per cent of the pay which she is entitled to, after one year of suspension, in violation of the rules. She alleges that this is due to the delay in decision making on the part of the administration.

Whereas Mrs Sharma denied the charges of ‘’non-acceptance of the official letters’’ and absence from the meetings of the department on account of which she was suspended, the inquiry committee has also reportedly exonerated her.

The earlier report which was submitted on November 16, 1999, by Mr V.K. Sharma, was rejected on the plea that the report was not in accordance with the prescribed procedure and that it lacked statements of the witnesses. Dr Sharma was told to re-conduct the inquiry in accordance with the 1984 procedures adopted by the university.

According to well-placed sources in the university, the latest inquiry report which was submitted by Mr Sharma on July 12, is also in the favour of Mrs Sharma. She is reportedly given the benefit of doubt in the second report.

She alleges that no action is taken in any direction deliberately in order to keep her in a state of mental agony.

She also disclosed that this is one of the classic cases where the charge sheet was served after over a month of the suspension order, in contravention of the norms.

She alleges that the charges against her have been fabricated by Dr Tejwant Singh, the then head of the department. She alleged that the fight between her and Dr Tejwant Singh was that he wanted her to improve some grades of the students, which she refused.

It took a complicated turn when Mrs Sharma refused to apologise for her alleged defiance of the Head of the Department of Mathematics.

When contacted, Mr Tejwant Singh, said he was a part of the administration and refused to comment on the matter.

Mrs. Sharma said that she was getting half the pay and alleged that after the completion of one year of her suspension, she should be given 75 per cent of the pay.

Instead, the authorities were dilly-dallying over the matter and she had now been asked to provide a certificate stating that she had not sought employment elsewhere.

However, Dr K.S. Aulakh, acting Vice Chancellor, PAU, has admitted lapse on the part of the administration for non-payment of 75 per cent of the pay. He assured that he would look into the matter and set the things in order.


Poor hygiene level in most eateries
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Ashish Gupta, a third year MBBS student of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, got the taste of a "delicacy" prepared in the only four star hotel in the mega city, likely to be upgraded as a five star soon, when he found a bone in a vegetarian dish that he had ordered.

A vegetarian, he was out dining with one of his friends last night when the incident occurred. "I went to the hotel in order to get the best quality food and in spite of the fact that one has to pay through one' nose while dining in such posh hotels, I was disillusioned that the service was so bad," he alleged, vowing never to go to the place again.

He said his friend, also a vegetarian, got sick after one piece of the bone went in her mouth and she chew it before realising what it was. "Although the hotel manager and the chef apologised for the incident, but we learnt the lesson that the hygiene standards in a four star hotel are no way better than a roadside dhaba," he said.

However, as was found out by the Ludhiana Tribune team today during a round of the kitchens of some of the most famous eateries serving the choicest of delicacies, there is no concept of hygiene whatsoever in most of the hotels, restaurants, bakeries, sweet shops and fast food joints

In fact, four of the most popular restaurants in the city in Bhadaur House are situated only three feet away from an open sewer.The kitchens of these restaurants face the sewer and the stink emanating from here mixes with the pungent smells of the spices used in the kitchens.

The Ludhiana Tribune team also spotted a few chefs chopping and shredding vegetables outside the kitchens and near the open drain. In fact one of the most popular and expensive restaurants in the area had placed its tandoors outside the kitchen and a mere two feet away from the sewer.

The less said the better about the view inside the kitchens. In one of the restaurants famous for its dishes and ambience, the Ludhiana Tribune team found vegetables littered on the floor and the chefs wearing nothing but underpants, standing on a pile of vegetables and drops of their sweat falling over the raw vegetables that were being being picked up from the floor. These vegetables were cut and put in a cooking vessel without being washed.

At another preparation centre of a famous chain of sweet shops in the Ghumar Mandi area, located right behind Sabzi Mandi, it was found that as many as eight halwais were working in a small room with no provisions for light, exhaust fan or a ceiling fan. All of them were sweating and two were seen kneading the flour meant for making kachoris with their feet.

A look at the workshops of a few of the famous bakeries in the city are enough to pull one away from the enticing cakes, pastries and other mouth-watering goodies prepared in the shanties that qualify as the workshops. One passing glance at the workshop of one of the oldest bakeries in the city, located near Kailash Cinema, showed workers wiping sweat from their brows or wiping their running noses and continuing with their chores of preparing the goodies without washing their hands.

However, in spite of all this, all these eating joints do a brisk business and the flow of customers is always on the increase. With the district health authorities allegedly turning a blind eye to the filth in and around these joints, no one other than the one who becomes the unsuspecting victim is complaining.


Water, power scarcity hits city, no relief in sight
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Unannounced massive power cuts, shut-downs and trippings of the dilapidated transmission system of the PSEB and scarcity of water, mainly due to erratic power supply, have hit the people of the city, where it hurts.

While the city population is in seething with rage over the disruption in power supply almost everywhere, particularly during early hours in the morning and late in the evening, throwing normal life out of gear, scores of localities, both in posh areas and the old city, were reported to be without water supply for days together.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that going by the provision for piped water supply made by the Municipal Corporation so far, it was normal that a large portion of the population in the city faced water shortage during peak of the summer. But, coupled with drastic power cuts imposed by the PSEB for the last more than one week, the situation had worsened.

Residents of various localities complained that in addition to scheduled power cuts of an hour each or more early in the morning and evening, power supply played truants the whole day. In the Civil Lines area, there was no power for at least 10 hours on one particular day during the last week. It was general opinion of the people contacted by the Ludhiana Tribune that working of the maintenance and line staff of the PSEB left much to be desired and the PSEB, which had been jacking up the power rates at the drop of the hat, should also be made accountable for poor quality of power supply.

It was reported that the city areas, particularly the localities like Bajwa Nagar, Kalyan Nagar, Purana Bazaar, Daresi Road, Shivpuri, Shankarpuri, New Shiv Puri, Qila Mohalla, Partap Bazaar, Civil Lines, Haibowal, Akash Puri, Ram Nagar and Upkar Nagar, as also other parts of the town had to go even without their assured two hours water supply in the morning and later in the day.

The Superintending Engineer (O and M) of the MC, Mr S.S.Jandu, attributed the scarce water supply to erratic power. He said the disruption in power supply, especially the power cut early in the morning, resulted in delayed running of the tubewells and resultant feeble pressure in the water mains. Even when the power supply was restored later, it was difficult to achieve the desired pressure in the distribution system by the scheduled timing for water supply.

The Chief Engineer, PSEB, Mr A.S.Randhawa, said consequent upon the system failure of the Central Power Projects to the extent of 1500 MW, the share of the PSEB from the central pool had been proportionately reduced, which had forced some restraints on supply to the urban feeders.

While the exact timing of the power cuts were being decided upon by the Chief Engineer (Operations) at Patiala, the extent of power cut, he added, was a minimum of two hours during the day, with the duration being extended depending upon the availability of power with the PSEB.

According to Mr Randhawa, an inadequate rains in the region had also affected the power situation which was expected to improve by the second week of September when the power requirement of paddy growers would slacken. On the much needed strengthening of the distribution system in the city, he expressed his helplessness, saying the PSEB did not have much needed funds for this purpose, nor was their any hope in the near future that massive investment required for augmentation of the distribution system would be available with the PSEB.

With the PSEB authorities and the MC officials passing the buck, there appeared to be no immediate relief in sight for the city population and they were destined to brave the hot and humid weather with dry taps and no power for some more time.


Beware e-mail users
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Gaurav was surprised to receive certain goods which he had never ordered for. To add to his surprise, the company manager even showed him an e-mail he had received from his account. Gaurav’s insistence that he had not sent any e-mail were of no avail and he had to pay for the goods.

Vandana was shocked to receive reply of some e-mails which she had never sent. The e-mail carried a message that she should meet Vipin at a garden as per her proposal. She was shocked as she did not know any man by that name.

Then, there was a web-designing company that was stunned to see that the contents of one website had changed overnight. The old contents had been completely deleted and the message ‘‘it is just a joke’’ appeared on opening that site. Even some pictures which he had especially got clicked, scanned and then pasted on the webpages were removed.

All these incidents have occurred in the city sending alarming bells to the computer users. In the absence of a system to catch hold of such miscreants and stringent legislation to punish them effectively, naughty brains are being encouraged to indulge in such a habit. While some do it just for fun or a joke , there are others who do it deliberately to bring harm to a rival or to peep into someone’s private life.

Similarly, another local designer who was about to launch a site in a few days had a virus attack which corrupted his entire data. After continuous efforts for almost a fortnight, he recovered 75 per cent of the data and the incident resulted in delay in the launch of his website.

Known as hacking in computer parlance the phenomena is troubling computer freaks as that as the number of users are increasing the incidence of hacking is also on the rise. In fact regular users even call it a common thing now.

According to a number of Internet users and cyber cafe owners, hackers by various means deliberately destroy a computer which may be several miles away from them. While one is chatting on the Internet, the person on the other end can read the Internet Protocol address which can allow him to get his password. The hacker can then also read all that one types on his computer. Hacker even gets the power to shut down the computer.

Chatting and sending e-mails are two easiest ways to hack someone’s computer. The hacker sends virus in the form of a programme. The virus can then expose your password to the sender of that programme who may then play with the computer from his place.

With little means to catch the culprits, computer users advice precaution better than cure. According to Mr Tejpreet S. Dhooria, a web designer and cyber cafe owner, the best way to get away from such hackers is that one must frequently change his password. One must not open up an e-mail which displays an unusual subject. One must not type credit card number in front of anyone. E-commerce must be practised only on those sites that use secure socket layer encryption which lock the site while you type the password. Also the history of computer browser must be deleted or else anyone who uses that computer later can have an access to sites which have been visited last.


Max sued for compensation
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — The District Consumer Redressal Forum has issued summons to Hutchinson Max Telecom, a Bangalore-based company, and its City Manager here to appear in the forum on September 26 to reply to a sue application of Rs 2.76 lakh moved against it.

Mr Joginder Singh Bhatti, a resident of Kandolo Kalan village in Phillaur tehsil, in his application has demanded compensation for mental torture suffered by him for the 'failure' of the company to keep its promise of sending the winners of a scheme, launched by it, to England to watch the Cricket World Cup in 1999.

According to the application, the company had announced the scheme before the World Cup offering a trip to England to 12 lucky winners. The complainant claimed that he was one of the winners but the company did not inform him about it.

However, later he came to know about the winners list but by that time he had lost the chance of making it to England. He has demanded compensation of Rs 2 lakh for mental torture suffered by him in addition to payment of Rs 76,000 which the company was supposed to spend on his visit to England. The complainant said he had lost a chance to view the matches in the foreign country.


Plant hoppers attack paddy crop
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Dr N.S. Buttar, in charge PAU clinic has informed that during the third week of August, samples of paddy suffering from while backed plant hopper were brought by farmers from Bilaspur (Moga), Gagra, Majri, Rauni, Kila Raipur and Sidhwan Bet (Ludhiana), Raisar (Sangrur), Goniana (Bathinda) and Ganjuan/Fazilka (Ferozepore) in the clinic for the diagnosis and remedial measures.

As a result of sucking of cell sap from the leaf sheaths of paddy by nymph and adults of plant hoppers, the plants dry up in patches. While sucking the sap these insects secrete honey dew on which black sooty mould develops and causes blackening of leaves. As the plants dry up, the hoppers migrate to adjoining plants and kill them. slowly, these dry patches enlarge. As a result of this attack, the developing shrivel and there is a drastic reduction in the paddy yield.

Dr Buttar advised the farmers to immediately inspect their paddy fields for damage due to plant hoppers. For this purpose, they should tilt the plants and tap two to three times at the base at frequent intervals to know the presence of insects.

If 5-10 plant hoppers per hill are seen floating on the surface of eater, the crio should be treated with 250 ml of lebaycid 100 ec (fenthion) or 800 ml of ekalux/guinguard 25 ec or one litre of coroban/dursban 20 ec (cholorpiriphos) or 560 ml of thiodan/endocel 35 ec (endosulfan) or 560 ml of nuvacron 36 sl (monocrotophos) in 100 litres of water per acre.

If hopper burn is noticed in patches, treat these patches along with 3-4 metre periphery immediately as these harbour high population of the insect.

The incidence of sheath blight fungal diseases has also been noticed in the Jagraon areas of Ludhiana district. The affected plants show greyish green lesions with purple margins on the leaf sheath above the water level. Its attack results in the poor filling of the grains.

To control sheath blight the farmers have been advised spray the crop as soon as the disease is noticed during the booting to flowering stage with 200 gm of bavistin 50 wp or mbs in 200 litres of water per acre. In both the above cases the sprays should be directed towards the base of the plant.


Engineers criticise Electricity Bill 2000
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Power engineers at a recently meeting with Power Secretary, Government of India, criticised the proposals of the Electricity Bill 2000. This was stated by M.S. Bajwa, president, PSEB Engineers Association of the All India Power Engineers Association in a press release today. The representatives of the all-India Power Engineers, the Institution of Engineers and the Confederation of Officers of Government of India participated in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the shortcomings and proposed changes in the Bill. The Power Secretary agreed with the contention of the power engineers to explore the possibility of implementing the statutory provisions of Electricity Supply Act, 1948, to overcome the impediments in serving the power consumers efficiently.

The representatives of engineers claimed that if the boards were allowed to earn 3 per cent return on investment, the boards could effectively manage and mobilise its finances. According to Mr Bajwa, they cautioned the government that the new power policy should be based on ground realities.

The government should learn lessons from the restrictions laid by Orissa and Andhra where the tariff had gone up manifold without achieving any objective. They claimed that the domestic tariff had touched as high as Rs 7.05 per unit. Enron Project in Maharashtra was costing Rs 80 crore per month to the state board without any benefit of generation.

It was also agreed at the meeting that commercial tariff could not be applied to the agriculture sector in the existing socio-economic conditions as the Government of India was still working on identifying those rural sectors, where subsidies were to be given. The engineers conveyed strong reservations about the need, legitimacy and objectives for bringing a new legislation before parliament without the in-depth study of these aspects.

The power secretary agreed that before pushing the so-called reforms further, including the draft of Electricity Bill, 2000, joint meetings with engineers will be convened in near future.


‘Kid’ mom seems happy at child's death

Lalita, a 24-year-old hearing-impaired woman, is a mother of one, though she looks like a kid herself. Her story seems unbelievable, but is true. After birth, she was thrown in a rubbish bin. Two sadhus, who were passing by, heard her cries and picked her up. They decided to bring her up, but found it a tough job.

They gave the child to officials of the school for deaf and dumb in Sarabha Nagar of Ludhiana. The school, managed by the Red Cross, is for orphans and children of persons affected by leprosy. This happened in 1978. Lalita stayed in the school till 1994, before she married a daily-wager living in a nearby village.

During her stay, the school authorities found her to be a well-behaved person. At the time of the marriage, two fixed-deposit certificates of Rs 10,000 each were given to Lalita and her husband.

Her second child, a girl, was underweight. After her birth, Lalita became more disturbed. Her husband also began forcing her to get the FD encashed. Her first child is now four-year-old.

A social worker, Ms Pappo Abnash Singh, brought her back to the school. Lalita always ignored her baby as she was not happy with her. She always used to bring the baby to the school, but one day when she came without her, officials tried to find out what had happened. They found the baby dead. The father was informed of the girl's death. He decided to cover the her body and throw it in a canal instead of burying it. The teacher informed Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary of the Red Cross who gave the father money for the burial.

When this correspondent met Lalita and asked her about the baby, she pointed towards the sky and smiled. Teachers say that she seems happier without her second daughter. However, she is fond of her first daughter. When asked if she wanted to return to her husband, Lalita did not reply. The teacher said, “Sometimes, she hides when her husband comes and wants to return to him afterwards.”

In the school, Lalita washes dishes, cuts vegetables and seems happy in spite of all that has happened in her life. — AA



A journey through realm of terror
By Krishan Lal Chitkara

LUDHIANA, MEMORIES always leave an indelible mark on one’s mind. Fiftythree years have passed since the country was partitioned. I was at that time 15 years old and had appeared in the matriculation examination. I fully recollect that we left our home in Khanewal tehsil of Multan district. Though we belonged to Mianwali, a place populated predominantly by Muslims and Pathans, my father shifted to Khanewal as he was Reader to the DSP there.

Mr Qureshi, DSP, was a secular minded person who always took care of the non-Muslims in his area. It was due to his non-communal nature that non-Muslims were escorted to the railway station for boarding the “refugee trains” arranged by the government.

On September 14, 1947, we were asked to catch a special train leaving Khanewal the next day. We packed whatever we could, leaving the rest with our well-wishers with the intenion of collecting these later whenever we would be able to visit the town again. At that time, everyone thought that Pakistan would last a short period only.

Mr Qureshi asked us to keep some of our belongings in his bungalow which we could collect later. We kept two big trunks at his house. On September 15, Mr Qureshi arranged a bus for non-Muslim police personnel to reach the railway station along with their baggage. The DSP had sent a few constables to the station for keeping a compartment reserved exclusively for police personnel. We all boarded the train with our baggage. Mr Qureshi, true to his nature, told my father that the two trunks lying in his bungalow were being brought in his jeep to the station as there was ample space in the compartment for these as well.

The train left at about 2.30 p.m. for Lahore escorted by seven Maratha soldiers. At about 6 pm there was a loud explosion and the train stopped with a big jerk. The soldiers asked us to bolt the doors and windows and lie down on the floor. Later, we came to know that the engine of the train and a few coaches had derailed as a result of the explosion.

I still remember the fateful night which we passed by reciting gurbani and bhajans. There were shouts of Allah-ho-Akbar and gunshots were heard throughout the night. The soldiers accompaying us fired several rounds in the direction from which the gunshots were heard. As the sun rose, we felt somewhat relaxed.

But our misery did not end there.

We had to remain in the train the whole of the next day. In the evening, we were told that a new train would arrive and we would have to shift to that train. The new train stopped half a mile away due to derailment of our train. A few coolies arrived on the scene to help us carry our luggage. There was a near stampede. Everybody was rushing to the new train with his baggage to occupy whatever place one could.

In the melee my mother, grandmother and four younger brothers got seperated. I found myself with my father in a coach next to the engine not knowing the fate of the rest of our family. At about 8 pm, the train left for Pattoki where it stayed for the whole night. There we learnt that the other members of our family were safe. Next morning, the train left for Lahore at about 10 am and reached there at about 4 pm.

At Lahore, we were told that we would have to shift to another train coming from India. This train did not have sufficient coaches to accommodate all the ‘refugees’ of our train. As a result, we had to keep our luggage on the roof of the train. By that time, it was night and we were informed that the train would leave for Wagah in the morning.

At the Lahore station, some soldiers of the Sikh Regiment were deployed for the safety of ‘refugees’. We were asked to rest in the open to avoid suffocation in the train. Almost all occupants of the train moved to a place in the yard and spread themselves on the ground, unmindful of the Muslim fanatics. At about midnight, there was sudden panic as shots were fired by some miscreants. Everybody rushed to the train. Calm returned after about an hour. The next morning, at about 10 am, the train left for Wagha with halts at Mughalpura and Harbanspura yards. There too some shots were fired at the train.

We reached Attari station at about 2 pm and heaved a sigh of relief. We were welcomed by the villagers and served with ‘langar’ in free India.

Mrs Archna Sood, who has been appointed Vice-Principal, School of Nursing, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, is a diploma holder of general nursing (DMC), B.Sc Nursing (AIIMS) and M.Sc Nursing (CMC, Ludhiana). She happens to be the first nursing student of the DMC to become the Vice-Principal of the school.


AISSF activist honoured
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — A former general secretary of AISSF (Mehta), Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, was honoured for his services to the panth in a joint function organised by nearly 12 political, social and religious organisations at Dugri here today.

Mr Sadhu Singh Saini, circle president, SAD (B), and Mr Harpal Singh Kohli presented a siropa and Sri Sahib (sword) to the AISSF activist, who had recently joined the ruling Akali Dal.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chawla said that the government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal had done so much work for development and prosperity in Punjab during three and a half years, the kind of which the successive Congress governments had not been able to do in the past 50 years.

The AISSF functionaries — Mr Harpal Singh Kohli, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Joura and Mr Paramjit Singh Khalsa appreciated the role played by Mr Chawla for getting the problems of the youth and students community redressed from the government.


Photo ID cards for voters
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — The voters in the Ludhiana East Assembly constituency, who had not got their photo identity cards, can do so from August 28 to September 6 at Zone Number 7 in Kidwai Nagar here.

Giving this information, Mr J.S. Heer, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation-cum-Voter Registration Officer, said the voters would get themselves photographed between 8 am and 6 pm for issuance of the cards.

Meanwhile, the work for taking photographs for the cards in the Ludhiana North constituency commenced today at SAN Jain Senior Secondary School, Daresi Road, here and will continue till September 2.

According to Mr T.L. Jindal, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner-cum-Voter Registration Officer, it would be the last opportunity for the electorate to get the cards issued.


Why did Punjab bandh flop?

THE lack of unity among industry and trade organisations, inadequate involvement of all representative unions and untimely call on Janmashatmi festival day were the reasons behind poor response to the Punjab, bandh on August 23. The bandh call was given by Industry and Trade Forum, Punjab which claims the backing of 50 other affiliated associations. It was to protest against Punjab State Electricity Board’s decision to hike power tariff ranging between 8 and 26 per cent in July and increase in minimum charges for industrial and commercial consumers.

However, the industry representatives did not agree that the bandh was a total failure and claimed that response was good. According to Mr Harish Khanna, the president of the Industry and Trade Forum, about 70-80 per cent of small-scale industrial units remained closed on that day. But the trade organisations did not cooperate adequately. The Janmashtami celebrations also affected the bandh.

Agreeing with Mr Khanna, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, a trader said, “While the state government is providing free electricity to the agriculture sector, the charges for industrial and commercial consumers had been more than doubled. The lack of unity among industrial and trade organisations had punctured every protest movement.” Criticising the hike in tariff, he said. “The government is increasing taxes and power tariff rates in an unfair and illogical manner. If it could, it will not hesitate in taxing the air. However, people will teach it a lesson in the next election for its misdeeds and unfair policies.”

In fact, the industry and traders are divided over the issue. A section of representatives had accepted the government’s decision to raise power tariff ‘mildly’ but the other section declined to accept the decision. Giving voice to another view-point Surinder Aggarwal, another trader said,” Instead of wasting energy on bandh calls the leaders should have tried for privatisation of the electricity board so that the problems of free electricity and power theft were checked effectively.”

Mr. Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, Punjab, while defending the decision not to participate in the bandh said,” The call was given by only few people without consulting all the industrial representatives. We were trying to convince the government to review its decision. Otherwise we would have organised protests including bandh in the near future. I had also filed a writ petition in the court against state government’s policy to provide free electricity supply to the agriculture sector and discrimination against other sectors”. — FOC


Time is our scarcest resource
From Shikha Puri

LUDHIANA, The scarcest resource we have is our own time. An ounce of gold will not buy an ounce of time. We all have only one thing in common, a 24-hour day. Managing time is the most complex thing and each one of us has a different way to do so. Successful people know how to make the best use of time. We spoke to some of them to know how they manage it.

Time can sail past for some and be a drag for others. Everyone has to manage time, whether it is at work or at home. I divide my work in different segments and then prioritise my work according to the rank in which they need to be completed. Time management has a profound effect on my everyday life. At rising time, I review my demands, then I analyse the use of time by delegating tasks which are not important. I use a time-planner and keep a diary in which I jot down the work I need to do the next day. I assess goals on long-term and short-term basis and then prioritise them. I always keep time aside for my family, friends and hobbies, as the way of managing time effectively is to have adequate time for home and work.
Mr Vijay Munjal,
    Hero Group

I feel that time management is not all that important because I pay more attention to time study.

At my work, I study how long each process is going to take, to make the final product, and then according to it, I set the assembly line. So time study is a very important aspect in my organisation.
—Mr Sameer Dumra,
   MD, Greatways

I firmly believe that India is far behind China, USA and Europe, where time management is concerned. I have seen that these countries are leagues ahead of us and we have a lot to learn from their time management techniques. For me, time budget is as important as financial budget and we are implementing new systems in our workplace to make our products time-effective, so that we can increase our productivity levels.
Mr Ajay Nayyar,
    Freeman Measures

Time is life. Time is very important to each one of us, so I impart the importance of time to my workers.

Though this cannot be done in just a day, I have different ways in which I teach them about time management.

I follow the saying 'Practise before your preach'. So as I give them their salaries on the 7th of every month, I expect them to complete work according to the time budget I have made. For me, time budget and financial budget are complementary to each other.
Mr Avinash Rai,
    Rajah Hosiery

I feel time management is essential if you want to do well in life. It is important because time management helps to do things in the right manner. We should attend to the important and most urgent work first. I feel doing your work efficiently depends on how good you are at planning. Planning plays an important role because without planning, the work will not be done effectively. These days, because of the busy, hectic and active life, it is imperative to know time management.
Ms I. Kumar,

   Kundan Vidya Mandir

And this is what an unknown wise man has to say about time management:

To know the value of a year
ask a student who has failed his exams.
To know the value of a month
ask a mother who has given birth to a pre-mature baby.
To know the value of a week
ask an editor of a weekly journal.
To know the value of a day
ask a daily wage labourer who has 6 kids to feed.
To know the value of an hour
ask the lovers waiting to meet.
To know the value of a minute
ask a person who missed his bus.
To know the value of a second,
ask a person who escaped an accident
To know the value of a milisecond
ask a person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.



AISSF celebrations in Sept
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — The All India Sikh Students’ Federation (Badal) will celebrate its 56th anniversary at Ludhiana in September, according to an announcement by the federation president, Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, here today.

The decision was conveyed to senior federation leaders by Mr Sandhu following a meeting with Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal here yesterday at the residence of a senior Youth Akali leader, Mr Saranjit Singh Dhillon. Those present at the meeting were Mr Kulwant Singh Ranike, Mr Iqbal Singh and Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu.

According to Mr Sandhu the anniversary celebrations will be a grand affair in which a large number of Punjab Cabinet ministers and SGPC members will also take part apart from the prominent leaders and workers of the federation. Besides, students of all Ludhiana colleges, namely Khalsa College, Arya College, Government College and ITI will also participate in the anniversary celebrations.

Mr Sandhu said to solve the various problems being faced by the student community, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal has assured the federation of holding special sangat darshan for them at the local Government College.

Others who took part in the meeting were Mr Kuldip Singh Gujjarwal, Mr Charan Singh Virk, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bains, Mr Devinder Singh Sodhi, Mr Harpreet Singh Gulati, Mr Ajaipal Singh Gill, Mr Sukhchain Singh Chain, Mr Parampreet Singh Sandhu, Mr Jasbir Singh Khalsa, Mr Balbir Singh Jamalpur, Mr Rajinder Singh Sandhu and advocate, Mr Harinder Singh Narang.


Baba Gajju Thapar remembered
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Nearly 600 Thapar families along with hundreds of devotees today thronged the 300-year-old Samadhi of Baba Gajju ji Thapar at Gurdev Nagar to participate in the mela which has been held at this place every year for the past three centuries.

The Samadhi, though preserved by the Thapar clan, is a place of pilgrimage and worship for a large number of devotees in the city and its surrounding areas. According to Dr Vijay Kumar Thapar, the monument is a dispenser of hope for the sick, the homeless, the childless, as well as for the well-provided.

According to him the history of the place dates back to the 17th century when the ancestors of the Thapars migrated from Kabul (Afghanistan) to India. They brought with them some bricks and soil from a place in Kabul where Baba Gajju ji had vanished.

According to the Thapars, Baba Gajju Ji performed miracles even when he was in his teens. Considering his miracles to be a nuisance, once on the ‘Amavasya of Bhadon’ his mother reprimanded him and asked him if he could vanish. Upon this, the Baba immediately merged with Mother Earth for ever. Since then, on the day of Amavasya of Bhadon every year, a large number of devotees, especially Thapars, congregate at this place to commemorate the day.

The event, besides its religious value, also offers a chance to the Thapar clan to gather at one place. It is a unique experience for about 600 Thapar families to assemble at one place. Besides them, there are a number of other devotees too.


Beware of Western designs: Johl
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Mr S.S. Johl, a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University at Patiala, yesterday warned Indian writers of Western designs to influence the Indian literature, which would be detrimental to the national interest. Dr Johl was speaking at a seminar on Gurbhajan Gill’s recently published poetry book — Agan Katha — at Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, 40 km from here. The seminar was organised by the Likhari Sabha of Jagatpur.

Dr Johl opined that developing countries were more in need of literature on struggle and human values in sharp contrast to the developed countries, which had their own problems and lifestyles. The difference between the literatures of the developing and developed countries must be prominently visible, he added.

The college Principal, Mr Sarwan Singh, an eminent Punjabi writer, welcomed the guests. Research papers on Agan Katha were read out by Prof Ravinder Bhattal, Head of Punjabi Department, S.D. College, Barnala, and Dr Gulzar Singh Pandher of Punjab Agricultural University.

Those who spoke on the occasion were Dr S.N. Sewak, Prof Gurmit Singh Hundal, Mr Ram Kumar, Mr Rajiv Kaplish, Mr Mohinder Dosanjh, President of Jagatpur Likhari Sabha, Mr Prem Singh Bajaj, Dr Jagir Singh Noor, Master Seetal Ram, Mohan Dosanjhvi and Mr Baldev Singh Dhindsa. A kavi darbar was also held later, in which nearly 20 poets participated.


Jatha suggests steps for traffic control
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha has suggested various proposals for the improvement of traffic in the city. Appreciating the actions taken earlier for better traffic control, Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary said, there was scope for more action.

The jatha suggested that the lane system in the traffic movement, particularly at the crossings should be made effective through public education, using pamphlets, hoardings, media and others. People violating the rules, including rickshaw and cycle riders should be penalised.

It said, more overbridges should be constructed at busy roads like Bharat Nagar Chowk, Gill Chowk and others. In a letter addressed to the Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Dr Mitra insisted that begging at the crossings should be prevented effectively, as there were many chances of the beggars, including children, getting run over by the vehicles. It was suggested that parking should be on one side only and traffic signs should be displayed at many important places in the town for public education.

The letter brought to notice that the lights near Agar Nagar be regulated. It also emphasised that the mini buses should be allowed to stop only at fixed stops.


LUDHIANA is the most affluent city of Punjab. People are loaded with money, though definitely not all. When there is no dearth of money, one wants to spend it. But where to go in Ludhiana. There are hardly any place where one can go. There are only a few good restaurants. How many times one can go there? People heaved a sigh of relief when a five star hotel came up. At least they found a way of dining out at its restaurants but for how long and how many times!

Lately, a few pool rooms and billiard rooms have come up, but these are nor visited by the whole family. Only young boys and men go there. Some time back, many of them did not enjoy a good reputation.

Where to go is the perpetual question asked by the Ludhianvis. This problem magnifies when one gets guests. Where to take them? O.K.! Some clubs are there but one is not necessarily a member of all clubs. The guests from outside ask you to show them the night life of Ludhiana. Which night life? One asks guests. Only when there are marriages, Ludhiana seems to have an active night life. Otherwise, there is no place, where one can go.

One cannot frequent the cinema halls as they are not air-conditioned and not so as good as the ones in the metropolitan cities.

A bowling alley has come up. The charges are high at Rs 125 a game. Though there is a restaurant attached to it, yet it cannot become a favourite family haunt as it is frequented mostly by young crowd.

There are a few pubs — again out of bounds for the entire family. There is also a discotheque.

There is really no place where one can take a family with grown up children. Parents with young ones can visit an amusement park a few kilometres away.

Ludhianvis are looking forward to some centres or clubs that offer whole some entertainment for the entire family.

There are hardly any cultural activities going on. There is no art gallery worth the name. The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam has made some headway in bringing culture to the city by inviting famous singers, dancers and plays from all over the country.

Sticky situation
Imagine a situation when you invite a guest for a function and call him over the stage expecting him to praise the efforts made by you but contrary to your expectations, the guest spends more time on pinpointing the loopholes in the day’s show.

This is exactly what happened with Mrs Indira Kumar, Principal Kundan Vidya Mandir, during the talent search contest of middle section students. The guest on the occasion was Mrs Asha Raizada, retired English teacher of the same school. When Mrs Raizada was invited on the stage, she first spoke one or two sentences in praise of the students' efforts. But then she started explaining to the kids and coordinators some points which to some extent marred the show. She spoke on the slow speed of drawing of the curtains, on the leftovers on the stage after a play or a dance item.

"We did not invite her on the stage to speak up all this", was the first reaction of Mrs Kumar who was sitting close to this reporter. Next was Mrs Kumar’s turn to move to the stage. As she was going to the stage, Mrs Raizada was stepping down. When the two confronted, there was an exchange of arguments between the two for about five minutes. Finally, Mrs Kumar reached the stage and before she declared the results of the contest, she first gave a clarification to Mrs Raizada and the rest of the audience.

She stated that since it was just an inter-house competition and not any major function of the school, not many rehearsals were held and that some minor loopholes were natural.

Pollution solution
A reader of Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Neena Chawla, has sent us a write-up downloaded from British Science News on biotech solution to industrial pollution for reproduction in this paper for the benefits of the residents of the mega city where industrial pollution is a major problem.

It says that pollution from the use of organic solvents in industry is causing worldwide concern. An effective measure to reduce this hazard has been developed by Viridian Ltd., a biotechnology company in the UK.

The company has developed a range of treatments for air emissions contaminated with odours or toxic compounds like methane, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and volatile organisation compounds (VOCs). The VOCs' emissions have potential health hazard effects.

The company's biovox approach offers an innovative natural alternative to the conventional technologies commercially available for reducing VOCs' emissions like thermal oxidation, incineration and carbon absorption plants.

The new process safely removes the unwanted gases and vapours from factory air emissions and detoxifies them using harmless natural bacteria. The purification is economic, reliable, efficient and consistent in performance. The process has the capacity to treat solvent concentrations up to 5 gm per cubic metre and suitable for air flows up to 500,000 cubic metres per hour. It is highly effective for gases such as xylene, toluene and hexane.

Volatile organic compounds can be degraded by both bacteria and fungus, which convert the gases into carbondioxide and water. Specially selected bacteria and fungus strains are grown on a suitable medium to provide a bio film. The gases are passed through this medium to be converted into harmless compounds, mainly carbondioxide and water. This ensures great promise for application in all types of industry facing closure due to health hazards caused by emission of harmful gases.

Nature's beauty
"A single flower can be my garden," is so true. When one sees the hibiscus flower or popularly known as 'show flower' all by itself, one feels a great deal of pleasure. Its rich green leaves contrast very beautifully with the red flower. The flower as seen in the picture is drooping, yet there is abundant grace in it as if it is sending out a message not to be proud of oneself even if one is very beautiful, but be modest.

The beauty of this flower is that it can grow in any soil and under any condition. Sometimes a poet laments why the flowers have to bloom when they stay for such a short while. And the flower seems to say, "It does not matter if I bloom for a short while, at least I fill others heart with beauty." It blooms where it is planted.




Four injured in accident
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — Four members of a family were seriously injured in a road accident at Shivpuri Chowk at around 11:30 pm on August 27.

The injured — Sanjiv Kumar, his father Surinder Kumar, mother Prem Ghai and sister-in-law Vandana were travelling in a Maruti car (PB-10-AB-7529). Their car reportedly collided with another car (PCS-4400). All four occupants of the car received serious injuries.

They were later admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital. The police has booked Jeeta of Basant Vihar, the driver of the car, under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC.

Liquor seized
Eight bottles of licit liquor were seized from Madan Lal from near Kashmir Nagar during special checking by the police. The accused has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.



Directory released
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 29 — The release function of Directory New Millennium 2000, published by the Ludhiana Oil Engines Dealers Association , was organised here recently.Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, the mayor, released the directory. Mr D.J. Jain, President of the association, presented a memorandum to the mayor for making proper arrangements of traffic, parking and sanitation. He demanded construction of toilets in the market area. 

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