Thursday, September 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Verification of land records ordered
Dalits allege usurping of land
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The District Development and Panchayat Office here has ordered the verification of land records of Birmi village dating back to 1972 in connection with a complaint filed by 92 Dalits of the village, alleging that certain influential persons of the village, actively supported by its panchayat, had usurped about 8 acres of land allotted to them 28 years ago.

Emotions flared up in the village due to the ongoing controversy over the land between the Dalits on one side and the village panchayat on the other. The DDPO office has already recorded statements of both parties and the final decision is expected to be taken after the perusal of the records.

DDPO Bhajan Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that both parties have been heard and their claims have been recorded but final decision can be taken only after looking into the land records.

Sources in the District Administration revealed that the authorities have kept a close watch on the situation so that nothing untoward develops between the two parties.

The dispute between the two parties has also taken political overtones as Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament, belonging to the BJP, is reportedly siding with the Dalits, while the village panchayat apparently owes affiliation to the Congress party. Certain Akali leaders, not wishing to be quoted, have also supported the Dalits by recommending their case to the District Administration officials.

In a detailed representation to the Deputy Commissioner , the Dalits have demanded immediate action against the panchayat officials for usurping the plots allotted to landless Scheduled Caste residents of the village. They have also demanded immediate restoration of the plots to them.

The representation said a land measuring 63 Kanal 9 Marlas was allotted to the Dalits in 1972 as per a scheme of the Central Government to provide houses to landless labourers so that they could built their own houses.

The representation then claimed that certain persons had an eye on the prime land and made efforts to encroach upon it .However, the Dalits then approached a court of law, which granted injunction in favour of the allottees.

However, recently certain influential persons of the village supported by the Panchayat have occupied the land and thrown out the Dalits . These people had also cultivated the land and have sown paddy there.

The representation also said that being a weaker section of the society they have no power to fight with the strong village panchayat.

While the panchayat members could not be contacted, they have in a statement before the DDPO said the Dalits cannot make any claim on the land, as they had not constructed any house over it, for which purpose the land was given to them. The panchayat has claimed that land belong to ‘Mustarka Malkan’ category (land shared by few persons) and the Dalits have no right over it.


Number fixation in lotteries goes unchecked
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The satta operators in the lottery market here are having a field day by duping thousands of unsuspecting customers of their hard earned money, by allegedly fixing the results of the one digit and two digit lotteries.

It is alleged that the satta operators, in connivance with certain officials of the Punjab State Lotteries, decide the winning combination well in advance and are making profits to the tune of crores of rupees each month. The winning combination is leaked to the selective agents, who invest heavily in the lottery by purchasing the tickets ending with this combination from other players in the market.

According to the information gathered by TNS, there are at least 20 bookies in the lottery market operating from areas like Clock Tower, Model Town, Dhuri Line and Samrala Chowk. It is alleged that the satta market is going strong with the police being in collusion with the bookies and a percentage share is being allegedly given to the concerned police officials every month. A close relative of a senior Akali leader, hailing from Ludhiana, is also alleged to be very actively involved in this number fixing racket. It is learnt that these bookies are doing transactions of thousands and thousands of rupees each day by playing lotteries on the fixed number combination, also called the telex number leak.

Though the Punjab Government Lottery officials vehemently deny these allegations and the Section Officer, Mr Maninder Pal Singh says that fixing of the winning number is impossible with the draw being done electronically and in full public view, but highly placed sources reveal otherwise. It is alleged that only recently, a remote control that was being used to stop the pointer at the desired number was found by a few officials in the room where the draw of lottery was being held. Before the remote control was discovered, at least six draws had been already completed out of the total of 32 daily draws of the Punjab Government lotteries. It is also alleged that sometimes the speed of the electronic discs are also manipulated to get the desired number.

Interestingly, it is also learnt that a few big players in the market purposely indulge in satta through their competitors in order to ward off any competition and face a dent on their share. In one such case, the alleged player in the business made an all out effort to finish off his competitor by putting a lot of money through him after he had allegedly fixed the winning combination. The person through whom the lottery tickets had been bought (benami) was thus forced to dole out a total of Rs 5 lakh to this man after the results were declared.

While the officials claim that a sum of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakhs is on stake in the sixteen draws each of A and B series of the Punjab Government lotteries, but the regulars in the circle put the figure at Rs 15 to Rs 20 lakh each day. From daily wagers to businessmen, the lottery stalls in various parts of the city are a scene of hectic activity right from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alleges Karamjit Singh, a cloth merchant who lost heavily in business because of his habit of investing in lotteries, “Playing lottery has become a habit and even though I gamble around Rs 500 to Rs 1000 every day and know that the results are often fixed, I cannot do without it.”

There are many like him and some even worse off than him who feel cheated at the alleged number fixation and the official apathy to curb the menace. Says Bundi Lal, a daily wager, who reportedly earns around Rs 150 a day and purchases lottery tickets worth Rs 100 in the hope that someday his stars will shine”. There are many like me who put their hard earned money in lotteries. Though we are addicted to this, we would like the government to stop the lottery business than being cheated.”


Councillors divided on controversial issues
MC meeting adjourned
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Having failed to evolve a consensus on many controversial issues, which form the agenda of the general house meeting of the municipal corporation slated for tomorrow, the meeting has once again been adjourned for an indefinite period.

No reasons have been cited by the civic administration for yet another adjournment of the meeting which was to discuss, among other things, handing over octroi collection to private contractors, reversion of one of the additional commissioners, Mr Dilip Kumar, having a new building for the MC headquarters and removal of encroachments in the city.

The meeting was earlier convened for September 1, but the house adjourned without conducting any business after making obituary references and was to meet again on September 7.

According to MC sources, there has been marked division among the councillors over privatisation of octroi collection and not only those from the Congress but many councillors from the ruling SAD-BJP combine were opposing the move. Some BJP councillors, requesting anonymity, said that the industry and trade were already irked over the failure of the ruling combine to abolish octroi as had been promised before the assembly elections in 1997 and the apprehended harassment by the contractors would further alienate the BJP from this section and have adverse impact on the urban vote bank of the party.

It is learnt that the Punjab local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, and senior officials of the local bodies, including the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Mr N.K.Arora, during their visit to the city on Saturday last, had emphasised upon the city Mayor and MC officials to see the move for privatisation of octroi through as it was expected to bring in a much-needed increase (estimated at more than 25 per cent) in the octroi collections.

Those pleading against entrusting the octroi collection to private hands maintain that the experience of the trade and industry at many other places in the state, where octroi collection was privatised, was far from satisfactory. There were reports that families travelling in private vehicles were searched, strong arm tactics were used against drivers and transporters by the agents of the contractors and even those carrying used household articles for personal used were coerced to pay up.

The demand by a group of councillors to revert Mr Dilip Kumar is another issue over which the civic administration has had many a sleepless nights. The demand is supported by the Senior Seputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, both from the BJP. According to sources in the MC, there have been hectic political activities over the past few days to make the councillors relent and not to force the issue in the House, when it reconvenes, but so far the efforts have not borne fruit.

The sources further maintained that senior bureaucrats in the Local Bodies Department had advised the mayor and some other senior councillors against the move as any resolution casting aspersions on an officer would not get the approval of the state government. Moreover, any discussion in the House meeting on the conduct of the officers was violative of the provisions of the Municipal Act, according to legal experts.


PCTE starts first-ever students’ mutual fund
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) has launched the first-ever students’ mutual fund in India. With the opening of this fund, the students of the college would be able to buy and sell actual shares from the stock markets. The students have chartered out investment guidelines and they evaluate the company on its market price, profits, dividends and other factors, informed Dr K.N.S. Kang, director of the college.

The students have also formed a registered society, Students Welfare Association of PCTE (SWAP) and a current account has been opened with the HDFC bank and a D-MAT account with the Ludhiana Stock Exchange to carry out the transactions. Faculty and students of the college are the executive members of the society with one-year term.

Dr Kang informed that each student had pooled in Rs 1,000 and the total collection amounted to Rs 3 lakh with which the students would buy and sell shares. ‘‘This money will be returned to the students at the end of their degree education. If there are any losses during transactions, the college will bear them and if the students make a profit they will be free to spend it on their trips and parties,’’ said Dr Kang.

Prashant Arora, general secretary of SWAP and BCA student, informed that in order to ensure that all the students participated, three sub-groups had been formed comprising MBA final, MBA previous and undergraduates with BBA and BCA students. He also said that a class-wise account would be managed which would provide a healthy spirit of competition among the students.


Court order against school body members
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Mr B.K. Mehta, Civil Judge, Senior Division, Ludhiana, today issued an injunction temporarily restraining Mr Jagat Singh and Giani Bhagat Singh from posing and acting as secretary and member of local managing committee of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana.

The judge’s order also restrained Mrs Kulwant Kaur Virdi from posing and working as Principal of the school. The judge further ordered that all three defendants had been restrained from accepting any donation, fee or any other amount from any person on behalf of the plaintiff trust or Guru Nanak Public School. Defendants are also restrained from operating any of the bank accounts of the school trust, managing committee of the trust or school or in any other name in which amounts are calculated on behalf of the school.

The defendants are further directed to furnish details of all such bank accounts within three days from today and defendants are temporarily restrained from interfering in the management of the school till disposal of the suit. They are also further restrained from removing any record of the school”.

The order, however, made it clear that “all said and observed herein above is only for the purposes of deciding this application and would not have any effect on the merits of the case or its ultimate outcome”.

The judge passed the order on civil suit filed by Shri Guru Nanak Public School Trust, through Mr Ranjit Singh Bhail, a British NRI, who claimed to be the founder general secretary of the trust which runs the school. In his suit, Mr Bhail stated that in the 1969, on the eve of 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, he created a trust on 20.12.69 in order to fulfill his objective of providing quality education to Punjabis. Ten other trustees were also nominated. Leaving provision for appointment of one more trustee, the trust deed was reduced into writing and the settler contributed a sum of Rs 1001 as nodal contribution in the creation of trust.

On 8.2.70, a representation was made to the chairman, Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, for allotment of land to the trust in Kartar Singh Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana. Later, a sum of Rs 1,35,628 was deposited for the land and a sale deed was executed. The building for the school was got constructed from PAU and foundation stone was laid by then Governor of Punjab, Dr D.C.Pavate, on 21.3.71.

Jagat Singh, presently arrayed as defendant no. 1, was one of the members of the trust and was so taken after obtaining his consent. Nine other members were also taken on the trust. But later, all of them were ousted by the defendant, and who also got the managing committee registered with Registrar of society.


SAD(B) ranks demand Bhatia's removal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — More than 24 functionaries of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), owing allegiance to Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, have urged the party high command to expel Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, a contender for the post of district Jathedar of SAD(B), for what they said was involvement of Mr Bhatia in illegal activities, which were tarnishing the image of the party.

The move, obviously inspired by Mr Makkar, has come in the wake of certain press reports that the hotel owned by Mr Bhatia was a den of illegal and immoral activities and during last week, some persons arrested under the Gambling Act and Immoral Traffic Act, were in fact nabbed from this hotel but the police had not mentioned the place in the first information report (FIR).

The signatories to the statement have ridiculed the allegation levelled by Mr Bhatia that his rival (Mr Makkar) had stooped to launch a character assassination campaign. They said the outburst of Mr Bhatia, who is also a member of the SGPC, was a result of his frustration after the police raids on his hotel and the refusal of senior party leaders, including Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to intervene in the matter and come to his rescue.

Those demanding the ouster of Mr Bhatia from the party include district Akali jatha senior vice-president, Mr Rachpal Singh Brar, vice-presidents, Mr Jit Singh Arora, Baldev Singh Bhalla, Mr Amarjit Singh Madan, Mr Gurmeet Singh, secretary-general Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Khalsa, Mr Manohar Singh Makkar, Mr Balbir Singh Makkar, general-secretaries, Mr Mohinder Singh Mukhi, Mr Kuldip Singh Khalsa, Mr Kultar Singh Jogi, Mr Jang Bahadur Singh Dhall, Mr Babbu Singh, press secretary Mr Ajit Singh Batra, finance secretary Mr Parminder Singh Pudain, circle presidents Mr Rajinder Pal Singh Khalsa, Mr Paramjit Singh Pammi, Mr Balwinder Singh, Moti Nagar and Mr Manjit Singh, Haibowal.


DYC criticises anti-people policies of govt
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The District Youth Congress (DYC) has flayed the SAD-BJP government in Punjab for allegedly pursuing anti-people policies which had wrecked the state economy and had made lives of the people miserable.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting, organised by newly elected President of Ward No 45, Mr Amit Batta, in Patel Nagar here today, the DYC President, Mr Pawan Diwan, observed that shortsighted policies of the government had forced the closure of a large number of small units all over the state and many others were finding it difficult to stay afloat.

Mr Diwan said the government had been persistently burdening the people in one way or the other. Power rates were repeatedly hiked, corruption had crossed all limits and the government jobs, at all levels, were being openly auctioned, he said. The government, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had promised the people an administration like that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, but the people were getting a taste of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s tyrannical rule, he added.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of Block No 1 in Shahi Mohalla, the DYC President expressed serious concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. “Murders, robberies, snatchings, rapes and kidnappings have become order of the day and the criminal elements were having a field day, while the police and the government were watching as a silent spectators,” he said.

He alleged that the financial crunch had led to the shelving all development works. Dalits and other weaker sections were being neglected. Even the old-age pensions and salaries to the employees were not being paid. Mr Diwan charged the government with diverting funds from various quarters to distribute liberal grants in the Sunam area with an intention to influence the voters.


Stamp demanded in Beant Singh's memory
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Senior Vice-President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, yesterday urged the Central Government to release a postal stamp in memory of Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab.

Mr Johar was addressing a gathering here to observe the death anniversary of the slain Congress leader.

He said that Beant Singh was a popular leader who enjoyed the support of all sections of society. He also called upon the state government to introduce the biography of the slain leader in school and college syllabi.


Qualified women find it hard to sit at home
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6— For 27-year-old Meetu Nayyar, a change of scene from Chandigarh to Ludhiana brought about by her wedding here late last year has been a shock. And she has been struggling ever since to come to terms with it.

“Although Ludhiana is just 100 km from Chandigarh, it could well be light years away from Chandigarh as far people’s values, attitude towards life, cultural and social mores are concerned,” exclaims Meetu during the course of an interview with Ludhiana Tribune in which she dwelt at length on how frustrating her experience has been in Ludhiana so far. “It seems to be an altogether different world. People are no doubt warmer here than you come across in Chandigarh but the only thing they seem to be concerned about here is the ways and means of making money... I have seen educated women concerning themselves only with the acquisition of latest clothes and jewellery.”

“And mind you, women here do not seem to be struggling hard enough to establish an identity of their own... acquire an independent status. They seem to be accepting everything without questioning — pollution, broken roads, overcrowding, choked sewerage, power failures. They seem to be quite satisfied with the status and worldly possessions given to them by their husbands. Women, irrespective of their age and status, seem to be occupied more by inane subjects like their relations with their in-laws, late acquisitions or to improve the marital prospects of their unmarried children than something substantive which concerns society, the state or the country as a whole...”

Meetu’s attempt to strike out on her own in the district courts at Ludhiana just as she successfully did while practising at the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh has not succeeded. “I found the experience at the district courts here to be totally frustrating just as it was absolutely satisfying at the High Court at Chandigarh”, she said.

Born, brought up and educated in Chandigarh, Meetu is a law graduate from Panjab University, Chandigarh and holds postgraduate diploma in personnel management and industrial relations. She is also a computer literate, with a diploma in computer programming. As soon as she finished Law course, she joined as a junior to Mr Inder Krishan Mehta, a senior advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “I used to work a lot. I never waited for the steno to arrive. Instead, I would myself take dictation from my senior because it gave me a chance not only to improve my English but also learnt about various legal nuances and intricacies of the case.”

“And I thought that marrying some one in Ludhiana would be a great idea because the city had such a large industrial base with groups like Vardhman, Oswal, Hero etc. and it would not be difficult to find a suitable position in one of the units if things do not work out at the district courts. I started sending them my resumes last year but I am sorry to say that none of them has even acknowledged their receipt..”

At the district courts, her experience was equally disappointing. “From high court to district courts is quite a come down. And the scene is totally different... language, culture, environment.... I know that when you go to a new place, you have to make your own place. But here? Just the way people look at you is so different. I discontinued going to the district courts within a week. I know that every woman advocate has to strike a balance between her family life and her professional life. We either sit quietly at home or end up looking for a job. But I want to stick to my profession.

I don’t want to sit at home and wither away. I must say that my husband, Tarun Nayyar, has been very helpful, understanding and supportive. He has even suggested that I could go to Chandigarh to practice at the high court for three days in a week. But I don’t want to do that. I want to make a success of it here in Ludhiana”.

She has already started a class for B.Com students to keep herself busy and is making some more plans.

Any suggestions? 


Paddy transplantation without puddling
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Dr Daler Singh, an agricultural technocrat, has successfully transplanted paddy without puddling in his six-acre family farm at Ladhowal village, near here. He is presently working in the state Agriculture Department.

The transplantation was made possible by making ridges with a tractor-drawn ridger after preparing the field. Then the channels in between the ridges were filled with water and paddy seedlings were transplanted on lower parts of both sides of ridges in such a manner that the water level was only up to the root portion of the seedlings. Subsequently the water level was kept up to the root level.

This was done on the PR-114 variety and the number of plants was 22. Urea at 110 kg per acre was used as fertiliser. Butachlor recommended dose along with one mechanical hoeing with wheel-hand hoe was used to work for chemical control of weeds on the ridges.

According to Mr Daler Singh, there are certain advantages of this technique. Firstly, lesser water is required as the surface area is decreased. Then there is no possibility of cracks in soil in case of irrigation water shortage and there is no deterioration of soil structure. Underground water level is recharged and lesser water loss is there due to evaporation.

He disclosed that mechanical weed control was easier due to line sowing and there were least possibilities of lodging due to stiff and strong stems which could contribute to a higher yield.

Recently, Dr P. Das, Deputy Director-General, ICAR, visited Dr Daler's farm. Dr Das saw an excellent crop of paddy transplanted and hoped that this practice could result in the improvement of soil structure and saving irrigation water. He said that research trials might be conducted on this practice to evaluate its applicability and usefulness on a large scale.


Cut-throat competition bane of society
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Star plus became very popular with the staging of mega buck programme Kaun Banega Crorepati. This ignited a competition among various TV channels. Numerous other shows have come up which offer lakhs. Now Zee has announced a show called Kaun Banega Dus Crorepati?

The concept of competition is a beautiful thing. It has a tremendous influences in everybody’s life for his personal, social, economic and cultural growth. If so, what is wrong with competitions. “Everything”, says Mr S.K. Mathur who runs an IAS coaching centre. “Cut throat competition in every field is producing human beings who cannot trust on another. My own students show lack of trust and cooperation. There is only one aim left in life — ‘compete’. So they are tense. Calmness, peace and beauty have gone out of their lives”, he said.

Actually the concept of competition has brought in all the mistrust among the people. “The moment we hear the word competition, we decide we have to do better than the others. Even a housewife is turning neurotic for all the ladies clubs are forever organising one competition after another”. Ms A.S. Chawla, a housewife says, “In our club, there is flower arrangement, summer queen , spring queen, salad and many other competitions which keep us on our toes. We friends now have become very secretive and do not talk as freely as earlier, lest we should disclose our plans for the competitions”.

But is it the real concept of competitions. Our minds have become tuned to this kind of competition. The real concept of competition is to improve upon one’s own performance and previous achievement. The achievements of others can be inspiration for one’s own endeavours for advancement. In the process of one’s own improvement, one may go past others and reach the top.

“Cut-throat competition tells you to ‘get to the top’. Others are your opponents, beat them. Do not allow others to grow. The second concept tells you to build yourself each time. That is what is called growth," said Mr Ghanshamdas, a retired school teacher. “In our age the concept of competition meant that one should allow others to grow. Those who are above you are not rivals. But this concept is of yesteryear. I see a fierce rat race now-a-days. Even my three sons and their wives are competing with one another. If one has a Lancer, the other one goes for a Safari and the third one will go for even a more expensive car. There is no love lost among them. When I try to tell them the harm being done to the harmony of family, they dismiss me as a garrulous fool,” he said sadly.

Which is the breeding place of this unfair competition? Can you guess? Schools, of course. “Now there is no cooperation but cut-throat competitions. This is the hard truth. Almost every activity of the school helps to promote this concept.

“It is rare to find two or three schools working together. Sometimes the schools get together to form a question bank and organise sports, but soon drift apart due to intense feeling of jealousy”, says a teacher of a leading school who does not want to be identified. He further said, “It often happens that there are one or two students above others and they usually monopolies the prizes and awards for years. All this gives rise to unhealthy competitions, rivalry, jealousy, and suspicious hostility.

What is the solution to this problem? Apparently it is not an easy job to get rid of the competitive spirit. How badly the English football fans behave? The competitions is so fierce that every season many a lives are lost due to mad behaviour of over zealous fans.

“One solution could be to remove the cherished cut-throat competition for it breeds hatred, leads to wars and destruction. Values and attitudes are never taught and learned from a text or from a teachers’ words. They are acquitted from the environment. Hence the school environment has to be conducive to a healthy competition as we want the children to attain these values. Even at home competition should never be encouraged.

It brings in a lot of friction amongst the siblings and sometimes leads to such hatred that relations are destroyed forever, “opined Mr S.S. Dhaliwal. He said, “I have learnt a lot from my experiences as an educationist. I have taught for more than three decades and I feel if education stands for human growth and social change, it has to think of realistic and practical ways to educate and to change the behavioural patterns of the future citizens by inculcating right values right now.”


Return gifts — a costly affair 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — Children of rich and famous here celebrate their birthdays in style. Today, the birthdays are celebrated with great pomp and show, which means a day of fun, costly decorations, lavish parties and exchange of costly gifts. The latest craze with kids, children and youngsters in Ludhiana is getting and giving expensive “return gifts”. No birthday is complete without return gifts.

It was an embarrassing situation for Mrs Rachna Walia, who has a 5-year-old daughter. She was invited by her “kitty friend” on her daughter’s first birthday. Since she was not so close to her friend, she took a teddy-bear (soft toy), costing Rs 250, as a gift for her friend’s little daughter. She was quite shocked and upset on returning home, as she said, “when we were about to leave the party, my friend handed over a return gift to my daughter. And the moment I opened the gift, it was a similar teddy bear, of same quality and same colour but bigger in size and obviously more expensive than the gift we had presented.’’

The trend of costly return gifts, sometimes creates uncomfortable situations for many. The tiny-tots are not bothered about the gifts they give to their friends on birthdays but they seem to be more enthusiastic about the gifts which they get in return.

Vridhi, a student of UKG, went to a birthday party of her classmate with her maid, as mothers were not invited. When she returned home, she started opening her return gift with much curiosity. But surprisingly she just threw away the little ‘piggy bank’ as she did not like the return gift. ‘‘It is so small. I was expecting a Barbie doll,’’ she exclaimed in anger.

The fashion of costly “return gifts” seems to have really spoilt the minds of many kids. Today they are used to get these return gifts in the form of a pack of baby soaps, beautiful pencil boxes, imported soft toys, variety of ‘piggy banks’, Parker pens. The list seems endless. It has become a headache for some parents, as they cannot afford to give such lavish return gifts on their child’s birthdays but are bound to behave in a similar manner, otherwise their children might develop an inferiority complex, regretted a lady.

Earlier, children used to get some sweets or one chocolate as a return gift and they considered themselves to be the happiest creatures on earth. But now they feel such return gifts are below their dignity.


Home gardening tips

*If you plant various types of bamboos, you can decorate your garden effectively.

*Bamboo comes in many shapes, heights and colours. Some of these are so strange to look at that these become an object of curiosity. You can have a yellow bamboo with green stripes and vice-versa, a bamboo that has so close the nodes that it gives an appearance of pitchers lying one upon the other, miniatures, black bamboo, deep green bamboo and of many other kinds.

*Depending upon the shape and potential size, bamboo can be used in border, as hedge, a screen, a wind break, at a spot as an island or even as a ground cover.

*Medium growing bamboo, when grown in pots, can be used as a screen even by those living on upper floors by keeping such pots side by side.

*The miniature bamboo species are probably one of the best for creating a jungle effect as bonsai.

*Bamboos are easy to multiply. In case of miniature species, it is by division of clumps by taking it out of the pot. In case of tall growing species, you can collect just emerging shoots and plant in your pots, keeping majority of the medium as sand. Rhizomes extracted from soil can also be planted.

*When grown in pots, bamboo makes a good indoor plant, but do not keep these in for long. These need shifting out frequently.

*Half-cut bamboo can be used in the garden, specially if you have created a Japanese garden, as water channels.

— Satish Narula



Two book stores raided
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The police yesterday raided two prominent book stores in the city and recovered a large number of pirated books after a complaint had been filed in this regard by the Manager of Publications Bureau, Punjab, Mr H.R. Grover.

The owners of the two book stores — Ram Gupta of Gupta Book Binder, Bharat Nagar Chowk, and Sunil Kumar Gupta of Gupta Brothers in Books Market — have been booked under sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and under sections 63 and 64 of the Copy Right Act.

Car stolen
A Maruti car (HR-02B-9985) as its registration number has been reportedly stolen from near the park opposite Vijay Jain Hoseiry on the morning of September 3. The owner of the car, Sanjiv Jain, has registered a case under section 379 of the IPC.

Projector stolen
A servant has been accused of stealing a projector of cutter grinder machine valued at Rs 10,000 from the shop of Mr Avnit Singh. A case under Section 381 of the IPC has been registered against the servant, Shibo.

One injured
Ranjit Kaur was injured when the scooter on which she was riding pillion with Sanjiv Kumar was hit by a truck (HR-37A-1213). Ranjit Kaur is currently undergoing treatment in the CMC. The police has booked the driver of the truck under Sections 279, 337, 339 and 427 of the IPC.



Once bitten twice shy 
By Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — It is a typical case of once bitten twice shy. Hundreds of small scale industrial units running in old city and Civil Lines areas are placed in a piquant situation over the issue of seeking ‘no objection certificate’ by the Municipal Corporation to get their unauthorised enhanced load registered with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

This is primarily due to the reason that both the Municipal Corporation and the PSEB are not prepared to take any risk of inviting penalty for the contempt of court a second time. Both the PSEB and the Municipal Corporation are facing contempt proceedings in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for issuing NOC and power connection to industrial units functioning in the residential areas.

The Municipal Corporation appears to be going tough in regard to issuing the NOC to industrial units which want to or get their unauthorised enhanced load registered with the PSEB.

In order to streamline the power supply and have an exact estimate of the power required and consumed by the industrial units, the PSEB introduced Voluntary Disclosure Scheme for the enhanced load. However, the PSEB entertains the claims of only those units who get clearance from the Municipal Corporation.

On the persistent demand of the industrial sector, the PSEB had decided to introduce VDS for different categories of industrial consumers. Under the scheme, the consumers may be allowed to get their unauthorised load regularised up to 100 per cent of their sanctioned load, while the middle category consumers could enhance the load by 50 per cent. The scheme which started on August 16 would be operative till September 15.

While some unit holders claimed that the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana had stopped issuing NOCs to them, the Municipal Commissioner Dr S S Sandhu told TNS that the process was on and will continue till September 15.

Dr Sandhu clarified that NOCs were being issued to the industrial units while strictly following the norms and also the guidelines of the High Court. The Municipal Corporation and the PSEB are facing charges on contempt of court for having allegedly issued NOC to some industrial units, which were operating in the residential areas. Originally the contempt proceedings were initiated against the PSEB. However, the PSEB took the pleas that they granted the power connection to the industrial units only after they were cleared by the Municipal Corporation.

In Ludhiana hundreds of industrial units are functioning in residential areas. Besides creating nuisance, these units are also risk-prone on account of accidents like fire. Some people had approached the High Court and sought that industrial units may not be allowed to operate in residential areas.

Since the government has already earmarked the place for the industrial units, setting up of such units is not allowed in the residential areas. All those units holders which are operating in the specified industrial areas have been issued the NOC.

Most of the hosiery and knitwear manufacturing units are being run in the residential areas in the old city and the Civil Lines. In fact it is these units which are facing problems in procuring the NOC from the Municipal Corporation.

However, several unit holders pointed out that the Municipal Corporation had issued NOCs to several units operating from residential areas. They alleged that the municipal authorities were resorting to pick and choose policy and were particularly harassing the small-scale units.

Clarifying the issue the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Mr Daleep Kumar, said only those units in residential areas were being issued NOCs which did not come under the purview of the High Court judgement. These units have been functioning for several years.


Movement of petroleum products sought
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 6 — The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India and Focal Point Association, Ludhiana, have condemned the government’s decision to ban the movement of petroleum products from one state to another. They alleged that this decision was helping only the vested interests and had put the consumers and the Indian Oil Corporation to heavy losses.

In a press note released today, Mr Joginder Singh, President of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries, said ,”The furnace oil was the basic input for the forging industries. Due to the ban, we had to pay 8.8 per cent sales tax on the furnace oil. The stocks of furnace oil had piled up with the Indian Oil Corporation. Despite price cuts the furnace oil could not be lifted.”

He urged the Prime Minister to direct the Petroleum Ministry to lift the ban on the movement of petroleum products from one state to another. 

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