Tuesday, September 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Old management of GNPS restored 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — The court of Mr Justice B.K. Mehta, Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Ludhiana, today, issued an injunction in favour of the old management committee of Guru Nanak Public School and restored Mr Jagat Singh and Giani Bhagat Singh as its Secretary and member, respectively.

The order also restored Ms Kulwant Kaur Virdi as Principal of the school. The order restrained Mr Ranjit Singh Bhail from working as General Secretary of Shri Guru Nanak Public Trust. The old management committee has also demanded that the local administration should help them take over the charge of the school tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, peace was restored in Guru Nanak Public School today, after several days of strikes and demonstrations because of a stay order issued on September 4. The school had remained closed for three days.

The court had earlier issued an order, barring Mr Jagat Singh, Giani Bhagat Singh and Ms Virdi from interfering in the school matters. Mr Bhail had taken over as the General Secretary of the trust under police protection. He had even appointed himself the acting Principal of the school.

Mr Bhail had also hired personal securitymen, besides threatening to terminate the services of teachers of the school. The teachers had then struck work, as a result of which, the school had to be closed for three days. The first-term examinations were postponed.

Meanwhile, the parents and the teachers formed a coordination committee headed by the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, and appointed Mr R.S. Gill, the then Vice-Principal of the school, the acting Principal. A delegation of teachers and parents also met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and informed him that they had taken this decision. The next day, at a meeting with the SDM (West), Mr Manjit Singh Brar, Mr Bhail agreed to appoint Mr Gill the head of the academic functions of the school and take charge of the finance department.

Mr R.S. Gill met the heads of the departments today. They decided that the first-term examinations would be held in mid-October. The decision was taken as the parents of students had already made plans for vacations.


Women promoting self-exploitation’

WHY do we need to debate the issue? This is because some persons are not prepared to accept the equality of women. in education, business or any other field, women have proved their mettle. Then, what is wrong with modeling — a career of fame, money and glamour? Women have proved to be much stronger than men in the once male-dominated positions. Indira Gandhi’s example is known all over the world.

Modeling is a unique career. It is not merely a parade of curves, but a battle of nerves. It is a career which is not everybody’s cup of tea. Besides figure and beauty, a model has to possess a brilliant mind and aptitude.

It has been 50 years since India gained freedom, but unfortunately, most Indians are still orthodox and shortsighted.

Dr Ashok Singla, near Old DMC Civil Lines, Ludhiana

Man and woman cannot exist without each other. Urban women are in a far better position than their rural counterparts. In cities, woman are liberated and work with men. Many of them are magistrates, police officers, doctors, nurses or politicians.

These days, one of the most lucrative careers for liberated women is modeling. A supermodel should have a good height, looks, figure and intelligence. Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta and Yukta Mukhi have these qualities. We should never forget that a woman can also stand up for herself and demand a life of dignity and love. She can control her life and be happy without any help or partner.

People need to change their views about models. Men should also change their attitude towards women. Individuality of a woman should be recognised.

Sanjeev Nagrath (student), 452, Ranjeet Singh Park, behind Shingar Theatre, Ludhiana

Today’s women have lost their identity because they are chasing dreams of an unlimited wealth and fame. It seems that every girl in town wants to be a model, whether she has the required talent or not.

Not every girl can become a model because our society discourages this profession. Modeling is an exploitation of women, for which, women are also responsible. They probably do not understand what they are doing. It may be called a narrow outlook, but it is true.

Today’s woman is supposed to be modern and broad-minded. Modernity does not mean that one should chase the dreams of joining the world of fashion and glamour alone. Modeling does not guarantee emancipation. If women indulge in such self-exploitation, they will be dominated. They should follow the example of successful women who did not rely on the world of glamour.

Shalini Kakkar, Student MA I (English), Government College, Ludhiana.

Woman has asserted her right to be considered a person with an identity of her own. She has achieved tremendous success and chooses her career according to her wish. Mahatma Gandhi had said, “Woman is not helpless. She should not consider herself weaker than man. She should not depend on him.”

A woman participates in fashion parades because considers it to be glamourous. It has become a full-time career, but the professional life of a model is short. Participation in fashion parades is not bad, if it does not violate our culture and tradition. There should be no vulgarity in fashion parades. Our tradition gives woman the status of Durga, Luxmi and Saraswati. If a man wants to live a life of power, money and wisdom, Hindu mythology says that he can get it only by respecting woman.

A woman can get more respect and recognition as a person than as a model.

Satish Aggarwal, Vice-President of the District Taxation Bar Association.

Being a model is nothing to be ashamed of. It should be a matter of prestige. A model should have patience and talent, besides beauty of mind and body. To excel in this field, you have to be perfect and nothing short of it.

Gone are the days when an Indian woman was nothing but a decoration piece. Today, she has progressed a lot. She has come out of her shell, sheding all her inhibitions in the process.

She is aware of her position and importance in society. She is wise enough to choose her career, be it modeling or any other profession. We should support her and not demoralise her.

Dr Sunil Chopra, Chopra Clinic, Lakkar Bazar, Ludhiana.



A slice of history
Bassian Kothi — a crumbling monument
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

RAIKOT ( LUDHIANA ), Sept 18 — Bassian Kothi, a 200- year-old monument of Sikh heritage in Bassian village, 3 km from here, is in a dilapidated condition, thanks to official apathy.

The building finds mention in history books. It was here that the last Sikh ruler, Maharaja Dalip Singh, spent a major part of his exile in the mid-19th century. Five Namdharis who participated in the famous Kuka movement against the British were also imprisoned here before being hanged in 1850.

In spite of a long historical background the building is not only lying abandoned but is also crumbling at places. Though a Supreme Court order directs declaration of all more than 100-year-old buildings having significant historic importance as Protected Monument yet recognition eludes Bassian Kothi.

The lack of preservation is dis-heartening all the more because neither the state Archaeology Department, formed to protect ancient buildings nor the Punjab Government which claims to protect Punjabi heritage, have made efforts to preserve the monument.

Bassian Kothi was basically an advance supply depot of the British military division based at Ferozepore. In March 1849, when the British annexed the state of Punjab, they also arrested 11-year- old Maharaja Dalip Singh and exiled in United Provinces (now known as Uttar Pradesh).

However, as there were chances of revolt by the people of the state due to the possible ill-treatment of their ruler, the British thought it better to move him slowly out of the state to avoid rebellion.

To retain him in the state for sometime, the advance supply depot was converted into a rest house and the Maharaja, along with his soldiers and entourage, was brought here.

The Maharaja even celebrated the New Year in 1850 at the rest house before being shifted to Fatehgarh Sahib from where he was sent to UP.

After the Maharaja’s departure, the place attracted attention again when five Namdharis, who participated in the Kuka movement, were kept as prisoners here by the British. They were later hanged. The rest house also served as a sessions court for Ludhiana for several years.

After Independence it was converted into a rest house of the state Irrigation Department, but some years ago the department’s rest house shifted to a new place. Since then the condition of the historic building has been steadily deteriorating.

For years, the kothi lay ignored and abandoned both by the government as well as the people of the surrounding villages, until recently when a group of concerned villagers came together and demanded conservation of the historic kothi.The group of villagers, headed by former MLA, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, even managed to install a life-size portrait of Maharaja Dalip Singh in a hall of the kothi.

However, the portrait is lying forgotten in the chowkidar’s room at the rest house. Wild growth is what one witnesses in the once magnificent garden of the historic kothi.

The government recently announced its plans to auction the historic building. The present auction plan could not be known but one thing is sure, the building faces an even darker future ahead.


PAU wheat research lauded 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — The 39th All India Wheat Research Workers’ meet was organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, recently where 14 wheat scientists from PAU, led by Dr G.S. Nanda, Professor and Head, Department of Plant Breeding, participated.

The group was particularly appreciative of the enormous improvement in production (at 15.9 million tonnes) and productivity (at 4704 kg/ha) of Punjab primarily due to adoption of the wheat variety PBW 343. Its widespread cultivation in the north-western region spoke of its merits which were also recognised by farmers.

PAU wheat breeder’s team was honoured during the inaugural session of the workshop with two plaques — one for development of the wheat variety PBW 343 for irrigated and timely-sown conditions of the North-Eastern Plains Zone. The second plaque was awarded for development of wheat variety PBW 396, for rainfed timely-sown conditions of the North- Western Plains zone.

The varieties evaluated in the national initial varietal trials are contributed by all wheat programmes in the country as per a fixed allotted quota, which is about 8 per cent for the PAU varieties. The relative proportion in advanced Varietal Trials is an indicator of the performance of a breeding programme. In the irrigated AVT trials, to be conducted in NWPZ during 2000-01, about 46 per cent of the entries are from PAU alone. Similarly, two (PBW 486 and PBW 487) out of the three final year entries in rainfed AVT trial of NWPZ are PAU varieties.

A special committee on varietal identification met on Aug 28, at BHU, Varanasi. The committee was highly impressed by the outstanding performance of PBW 343 in the North-Western Plains Zone that has been consistently occupying first rank in the zone for the last nine years. This single variety has contributed enormously to food security and the economy of the country. It was established that PBW 343 has been occupying first rank during past three years even in the North- Eastern Zone as well. Therefore, the committee decided to release PBW 343 for irrigated timely-sown conditions of the North Eastern Plains Zone also to improve the wheat production in the sleeping giant i.e. the North Eastern Plains Zone.


Select a lawyer on the Net 
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — Are you looking for a suitable lawyer? The Internet has simplified your search. All you need to do is to go to lawyersonclick.com, select the type of specialisation you are looking for and also the location of the lawyer. Press the search button and the list of the type of lawyers you want along with telephone numbers will be in front of you.

The areas of specialisation have been divided into 40 categories, including administrative, criminal, taxation, banking, bankruptcy, business, computer and technology and consumer protection. One can select lawyers from more than 100 cities of India.

Lawyersonclick.com has also proved a boon to the lawyers as now they can get themselves registered with the site by clicking the ‘register’ button and then filling a form online. Modifications such as change of telephone number, can also be effected online.

Mr Harpreet Sandhu, senior vice-president of the Young Lawyers Welfare Association and member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, New Delhi, while explaining the advantages of the website, said that all lawyers of the city can avail the opportunity of free registration with the site.

The site offers a platform to the lawyers for discussion on legal issues and common problems. Several law-related articles also available on the site. Updated national and international news items on legal issues are also available. In addition, the site gives the facility to chat, send and receive e-mail and e-greetings.

Lawyersonclick.com gives complete information on law. It tells about career opportunities available in the field, law education institutes in India and abroad, their dates of registration, eligibility criteria and even the admission procedure.



Removal of garbage sought
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 17 — A number of residents living near the State Bank of India treasury branch in a street connected to the Rani Jhansi road are sore over the apathetic attitude of the Municipal Corporation towards their demand of shifting a garbage container from a park facing their houses.

The residents are sore over the act of a group of shopkeepers of shifting the garbage container from its earlier position near the market to a place near the park. The residents said apart from spreading foul smell the container attracted all kinds of germs and animals like pigs and stray dogs.

In a representation, the residents, wishing not to be quoted, said though the shopkeepers had shifted the container from an approved place by the Municipal Corporation but the corporation had still not objected to it.

The residents also claimed that they had requested Mr S.S. Sandhu, Municipal Commissioner, and other officials several times for shifting the container but nothing had been done in this regard so far.

The residents said earlier they used to stroll during morning and evening on the streets but now due to the presence of the pungent smelling garbage they could not venture out.

The representation also appealed to the Municipal Corporation for maintaining the park in a proper manner. They have also offered help to the corporation in this regard.


Scientists’ meet on water utilisation 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is organising a scientists’ meet on “All-India coordinated research project on optimisation of groundwater utilisation through wells and pumps” at the Department of Soil and Water Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, on September 19 and 20. The meet will be inaugurated by Dr. J.S. Samra, Deputy Director-General, Natural Resource Management, ICAR, New Delhi.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, will preside over the inaugural session. About 40 scientists from all over the country will participate and present their research findings at five centres — the PAU, Ludhiana, the MPKV, Rahuri, the JNKVV, Jabalpur, the CEPUAT, Pant Nagar and the Institute of Hydraulics and Hydrology, Poondi. During the meet strategies to tackle various groundwater resource management problems will also be formulated.




4 kidnappings in one day; two cases solved 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — Four kidnappings have been reported in two separate incidents during the past 24 hours. While two young girls were reportedly kidnapped from near their house in New Vishkarma Nagar, Focal Point, last evening, the police succeeded in tracing out the children and also arrested the accused.

Rita, 9, was playing outside the hutments where she lived with Gudiya (8), the daughter of her neighbour, in the evening yesterday, when they reportedly went missing. The harassed parents of the two children then got a case of kidnapping registered against some unknown persons.

The police, led by Inspector Paramjit Singh and under the supervision of SP City II Mr Parmod Ban, immediately set into action and got to know that the two girls had been kidnapped by one of the persons staying in the locality, Udesh Kumar. Since the accused was known to the hapless victim, he managed to persuade them to sit on his cart so that he could take them for a ride.

He then reportedly made the two girls sit on his cart and set off with them. It is alleged that the accused had kidnapped Rita with the intention of sexually assaulting her. However, swift action by the police saved the two girls and they were rescued around 9:30 pm. The accused, Udesh Kumar, has also been arrested and a case under sections 363 and 365 of the IPC registered.

In another case, a woman and her child were kidnapped at 4:00 am on the morning of September 16 from her house in Manngarh village by her former husband.

According to an FIR registered under sections 364, 148 and 149 of the IPC at Sahnewal Police Station, the mother of the victim, Sallo alleged that in the wee hours of the morning on September 16 while she was sleeping with her daughter, Manno, and her son-in-law, Sheru, six persons came to her house.

She alleged that she saw her former son-in-law, Billa, his bother, Bholi, Jailla, Sheru, Bashir and Roshan, standing in the courtyard. She alleged that her daughter, Mannu, had been married to Billu three years ago and had since then been divorced and remarried.

The FIR further states that the accused abducted her daughter and her 1-year-old grandchild and managed to escape. There has been no arrest in this case so far nor have the kidnapped persons been recovered.


Man booked for cheating 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — The police has booked a man for allegedly extracting thousands of rupees from the wife of an accused. He had reportedly taken the money on the pretext of getting her husband released from the police custody.

The accused, Tara Singh, had allegedly taken Rs 13,000 from Paramjit Kaur for getting her husband, Shingara Singh, released from the CIA Headquarters, Ludhiana. Shingara Singh had been rounded up by the police in a case of smuggling poppy husk.

It is alleged that even after Tara Singh had taken the money from Paramjit Kaur, he did not do the work. It was then that the complainant made a representation before the Additional-Director-General of Police on June 1. An inquiry into the case was conducted by the DSP (Detective) on the order of the Senior Superintendent of Police.

A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered.


One killed in accident 
Tribune News Service 

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — One person was seriously injured by a speeding vehicle on the GT Road, near Sahnewal octroi post, last night. He was later shifted to a local hospital by an employee of the octroi post, but he could not be saved.

It is learnt that Mr Jatinder Singh, posted at the said octroi post, saw an injured person lying there, he immediately shifted him to the Mangat Hospital, Sahnewal.

The injured, identified as Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Doraha, appeared to have been run over by a speeding vehicle. His damaged scooter was lying nearby.

He died later in the hospital. A case under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

Gamblers arrested

The police has arrested six persons in two separate incidents for gambling in the past 24 hours.

While Inderjit Singh, Harjit Kumar and Rakesh Kumar were arrested by the police with a sum of Rs 2000 and a pack of playing cards, three other persons, Michael, Abrahim and Rajiv Kumar, were arrested in yet another incident and a sum of Rs 325 and a pack of playing cards were recovered from them. In both the cases, the accused have been arrested under various Sections of the Gambling Act.

Illicit liquor seized

The Salem Tabri police has arrested Bikram Singh and recovered nine and a quarter bottles of illicit liquor from him . A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered. 





Apparel exports from Punjab on the rise 
By Manoj Kumar 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — The European Union has recently released an extra quota of about Rs 300 crore for readymade garments and other fabrics that will be imported from India. The news has enthused exporters, especially the apparel exporters of Punjab, who had experienced a lean season last year. The extra order implies that during this financial year, about 50 lakh T-shirts, 10 lakh jerseys and pullovers, 20 lakh trousers and shirts, and about 33 lakh ladies dresses can be exported in addition to the earlier quota.

Ludhiana has almost monopolised woollen exports from India. It means that almost all the jerseys and pullovers will be exported from here. It may be popular for its woollen clothes. But, the share of woollen exports out of total readymade garments manufactured has drastically decreased in recent years. Presently, of the total apparel exports from Ludhiana, the share of cotton garments is 74 per cent, synthetic garments 10 per cent and woollen garments 16 per cent. The latest statistics show that between January to August this year, the growth rate of apparel exports from Ludhiana was about 13 per cent as compared to a corresponding period in the previous year. In fact, T-shirts, trousers, ladies blouses, jackets, skirts are exported under the quota system and track suits and knitted garments like under garments are exported under the non-quota system.

The latest report released by the Apparel Export Promotion Council, New Delhi, reveals that apparel exports from India in 1992, were about Rs 14,360 crore which increased to Rs 177,763 crore in 1997 and about Rs 22,915 crore in 1999. The share of Ludhiana exports in the same period was Rs 285 crore, Rs 540 crore and Rs 632 crore, respectively.

As compared to Tirupur, another garment manufacturing centre, Ludhiana may be lagging. But value realisation per piece shows that the average value of Ludhiana’s garment was Rs 175 as compared to just Rs 73 of the Tirupur garment pieces.

Mr Amrik Singh of the Apparel Exporters’ Association, explaining the nature of apparel exports says, “Our exports are mostly ordered by small supply chains. Even a small order of 1500 pieces can be accepted. The main emphasis has been on a higher margin per piece rather than total profits. However, now big units like Oswal, Duke, PJ, Nahar and Bhandari groups are changing their strategy, emphasising on gross profits. Consequently, the margin per piece has declined from 30 per cent to 18 per cent and gross profits have increased.”

Majority of exporters agrees that the New Investment Entitlement System has helped to modernise export units and upgrade the quality of products. Under the scheme, the exporters are granted enhanced quota in each category in proportion to their investments in the modernisation of total apparel units in India. Machinery of at least Rs 50 lakh has to be purchased under the scheme.

Mr Sanjeev Gupta, a leading garment exporter is of the view that many manufacturers may be apprehensive about the tough competition from China and other countries, especially from year 2004 onwards when the quota policy will cease to exist under the WTO system. But, it is also an opportunity to increase our share in the exports by concentrating on ‘better quality, timely delivery of orders and cheap prices.’ “We will surely grow in a big way by following this policy”, he adds.

However, the state government’s indifferent attitude and faulty policies, according to the industry representatives, are proving detrimental to the export promotion of apparel from Punjab. The role of the Punjab Small Industry and Export Corporation has been dismal. The Punjab trade unit, which under its aegis, used to provide services to about 450 exporters has no takers any more. Though the state policy is to give 2 per cent subsidy on exports, it has not been allegedly paid for years. The Punjab trade unit today is not only without head but also without any work, and squander public money, say its employees.



Unrestricted import hits oil industry  
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — As a result of unrestricted imports of palm oil and other edible oils permitted by the Union Government, the oil mills and allied trades like solvent extraction plants, oil mill machinery, expeller industry and packaging material units are facing crisis. The industry sources claim that a large number of oil mills and allied units, all over the state had already closed down and many more were on the verge of closure.

According to Mr Sudarshan Singla, president of the Oil Mill Machinery Association, palm oil import from Malaysia had hit the industry hard because it had rendered the domestic oil industry uncompetitive. Consequent upon the poor offtake, the oilseed cultivation was no longer remunerative and the farmers, engaged in oilseed cultivation, were thinking of switching over to other crops.

The oil mill machinery and the oil expeller units in the city were the hardest hit since there were no buyers for the machinery and payments for the sales already effected were outstanding, the industry sources point out, creating a liquidity crisis for the units, most of which were in the small sector. Mr Singla claimed that the closure of a large number of units in the city had led to mass unemployment among the industrial workers.

Mr Singla observed that there was an immediate need to review the prevailing import policy for edible oil and the government should go for import of oilseeds to sustain the oil expeller industry in the country. In view of mass sickness in the oil mill and allied sectors, the state governments should also formulate policies to promote the industry. “The oil mill and allied trade industry was doomed unless the government came to its rescue with liberal financial assistance and supply of raw material at reasonable prices,” he said.


Garment industry website launched 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — We do not need any kind of subsidy from the state or central government to face the competition in the international market. But government should not create problems by imposing so many restrictions and high taxes on our products. We can easily achieve the target of textile exports of Rs 35,000 crore in 2003 if suitable policies and congenial environment are created through wider dialogue between industry representatives and government departments. These views were expressed by Mr Prem Sagar Jain, Adviser to Readymade Hosiery Manufacturers Association (REHMA). He was speaking at a function organised by the association to launch a website.

The website has been developed to provide information to customers about REHMA. Mr Satpal Beri, patron of the association, claimed that the utilisation of e-governance, e-commerce and the websites will play a significant role in the development of knitwear industry. He appealed to industrialists to embrace the information technology and try to raise the quality of their products.

Mr Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, said, “One of our problems is concerned with double taxation. We have to pay sales tax of 4.4 per cent first on yarn and again 4.4 per cent tax on the finished products. If we sell to the parties of other states then we have to pay the sales tax again. The procedures of other states like Delhi and Rajasthan are much simple.” He claimed that previous year the industry had paid about Rs 125 crore as sales tax on yarn and about Rs 30 crore on finished products. The government could collect tax at a single point in such a manner that the collections remained same and manufacturers were also saved from unnecessary formalities and harassment.

Mr Ajit Lakra, another readymade garment manufacturer, was of the view that they were not so much bothered about taxation as they were about time wastage due to uncooperative attitude and hostile behaviour of the tax authorties. He asked how the manufacturers of Delhi, Mumbai and UP could fare better than local units when they were using their garments as raw material.

Mr M.M. Vyas, president, Ludhiana Spinners Association and Chairman of Improvement Trust, said some of the units might be involved in unfair practices but all of them should not be branded thieves.

Mr T.L. Jindal, Assistant Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, who was the chief guest at the function, promised to look into the problems of the industry sympathetically. He said the issues would be reviewed in the next ministry-level meeting to be held in Chandigarh on September 21. He requested the manufacturers to understand the departmental constraints and procedures that had to be followed. However, action would be taken against corrupt officials if complaints were made with proof.


Preparations on for Kisan Mela 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 18 — Preparations for the Kisan Mela to be held at PAU Ludhiana have been completed. Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director of Extension Education, stated that 20 sub-committees set up to make various arrangements for the convenience of the farmers, were working round-the-clock to give final touches to the arrangements. About one lakh farmers are expected to throng the university campus during the mela, which will be inaugurated by Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab on September 21.

Dr Kolar further said that the Regional Kisan Mela at Bathinda will be inaugurated by Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister, Punjab on September 26. This mela is also largely attended by farmers from the Malwa region of the state. The regional kisan melas at Gurdaspur will be inaugurated by Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Minister of Cooperation, Punjab, September 29.

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