Wednesday, September 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC may regularise encroachments
Illegal occupation by civic staff
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — To further add to a score of controversial items, forming part of the agenda for the general house meeting of the local municipal corporation, adjourned twice earlier and rescheduled to be held on Wednesday, a bid to regularise several cases of encroachment on civic body land by its own employees will be made by the MC administration.

According to an item in the supplementary agenda for the meeting, several employees of the MC from engineering branch, water supply and O and M cell were illegally occupying MC land in Harcharan Nagar on Bypass Road for the past several years. Rather than proceeding against them and others, the MC authorities have made an offer to them for shifting to civic body land in village Kulliewal, where plots of 50 square yards each would be allotted to them at a price fixed by the Deputy Commissioner.

The encroachment on MC land by its own employees was not a new phenomenon and has been in vogue for quite some time now. Reliable sources in the civic body disclosed that several hundred cases of encroachment and subsequent regularisation of the occupancy were on records of the MC. Ironically, in some cases, those (read MC employees) encroaching upon the land and subsequently being allotted plots at the same place or elsewhere, had failed to deposit even the nominal price fixed by the MC, but were still in occupation of the plots for years together.

The biggest offenders, it is learnt, were the employees of the engineering branch and horticulture wing and the connivance of certain senior officers could not be ruled out.

Another new item added to the agenda was expansion of the municipal limits of the city from its present total area of 159.37 square kilometer to 182 square kilometer. The proposal envisages to bring in another 25 villages on the periphery of the city, which included Fatehpur, Ayali Khurd, Baranhara, Partap Singh Wala, Balloke, Chuharpur. Hussainpura, Phagguwal, Manjh and Jassian between Ferozepur Road and Jalandhar Road, Kadian, Rajpura Dogran, Bhattian Bahadarke, Kakowal, Bajra and Jahangirpur between Jalandhar Road and Chandigarh Road, Gobindgarh between Chandigarh Road and Ambala Road, Pawa between Ambala Road and Malerkotla Road and Dugri, Threeke between Malerkotla Road and Ferozepore Road.

The proposed expansion of MC limits, the officials pointed out, would lead to increase in the MC income from octroi and house tax from such industrial units, which were presently outside the MC limits. At the same time, it would ensure planned development of residential and commercial areas coming up in these places.

Although a compromise had reported to have been managed over the demand by certain councillors, including those from ruling combine, for reversion of one of the additional commissioners Mr Dilip Kumar, many other issues were still expected to generate a stormy debate. Among other things, the general house meeting would also discuss issues like privatisation of octroi collection, having a new headquarters for the civic body and construction of 16 shops allegedly on MC land by a congress councillor Mr Sat Pal Puri.

The construction of shops by the management of Kapoor Memorial Hospital in the old city area would also come up for discussion but in the intervening period the management is learnt to have asked for a chance to present its point of view on the matter. The management said it did not want to go in confrontation with the civic body and was in favour of an amicable solution.Back


PSEB ordered to refund power bill
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — The District Consumer Redressal Forum has quashed a bill amount of Rs 87,923 charged by the PSEB from a consumer, but has justified the demand of Rs 10,700 as fine for theft of energy raised against the same consumer by the board.

The president of the forum, Mr Hardial Singh, and members Shashi Saini and Tilak Raj Arora, also gave the PSEB the liberty to overhaul the account of the bill for the last six months and after calculating the exact amount refund some amount already paid by the consumer. The compliance of the order has to be done within one month of the receipt of the order.

The complainant, Dr Shivdev Singh Sidhu, a resident of 4-G Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, had complained to the forum that in July 1998, the PSEB served a notice on him directing him to deposit an amount of Rs 87,923 on account of allegation that his meter was recording 50 per cent of the actual compensation. The PSEB had also charged that during checking the seals of the meter were found fake.

The complainant further said that the PSEB later also charged additional amount of Rs 10,700 from him as charges for theft of energy. He refuted all charges and contended that the amount was calculated wrongly as the PSEB had overhauled bill from year 1991 to 1998 whereas according to the rules the bill of only last six months can be overhauled.

The PSEB in its reply produced evidence of theft of energy. It also produced before the forum the earlier orders issued against the consumer by the Dispute Settlement Committee of the board and the Zonal Level Dispute Settlement Committee.

After hearing both parties, the forum found that overhauling of the bill for the period of about seven years was against the rules, as the overhauling of a defective meter can be done for the last six months only. As such the forum quashed the demand of Rs 87,923 charged on account of slow running of the meter.

However, as far as the theft of energy was concerned, the complainant did not even challenge the same before the forum. The complainant even stated that the said amount may be recovered since the seals were found tampered. Therefore, the forum found the demand of Rs 10,700 charged on account of theft of energy as justified.


No threat to classical music: Shiv Kumar Sharma

DRESSED in a white kurta and pyjama and crowned with silver hair, Padamshri Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma’s santoor recital charmed the audience in the city.

He started the function by addressing the students, “I have come here, students to make you aware of your rich heritage. I know information and technology today is giving you a lot of knowledge about the outside world, but I would like to ask you, — how many of you know about your own artists and your culture? Many of you probably know about Modonna and Michael Jackson. I want to give you a glimpse of our heritage. Santoor is a 100 stringed instrument. No instrument has an equally large number of strings. The best part is that all the strings are used, unlike other instruments where some strings are used only for resonance. This instrument is also known for the use of two sticks or kalams. Kalam is a Kashmiri word and the instrument too is a Kashmiri instrument.

Santoor was earlier used for sufiana mausiqui, but my father made in changes to make it more suitable for Indian classical music. We struggled for 10 years to bring it to its modern form. Since, it was a lecture-cum-demonstration, he explained to the students the intricacies of the instrument. He further explained , “We have different raags for different times of the day. I am going to play raag Aahir Bhairavi which is essentially an early morning raag. First of all, an artist plays alaap which is slow. The alaap allows artists to improvise. People find it slow for it is played solo without the accompaniment of tabla.”

His mastery was evident as the hundred strings vibrated gently at the touch of his masterly fingers. Notes from the instrument resonated in the whole hall, filling listeners with a strange peace. The slow rendering of the alaap gradually quickened to a higher pitch. The undulating notes, both high and low, coming from the santoor were exquisite, and exhilarating. Totally oblivious of the flash of cameras, he played on. Akram Khan, a student of Ustad Rashmat Ali Khan,proved to be a perfect foil for the santoor vadan of Pt Sharma Ji. Jugal bandi between the two was an example of the perfect harmony between them and it was exciting to see them nod at each other when they were in the taal frame.

Towards the end of the performance, the maestro dropped his kalam, and played with his hand. The effect was unique and exhilarating, and made a deep impact on in the minds of the audience.

Later replying to the question whether pop music would spell doom for Indian classical music he said very confidently, “No, Indian classical music will survive, A couple of electronic channels cannot upstage it. I have students who are keen on learning santoor. My son, 28 years of age, is into playing the santoor seriously.”

Replying to another question Pandit Ji said, “No fixed time can be spent on riyaaz. In the morning, when there is peace and quiet, one should do riyaaz. Do not tire yourself”. He said, “Classical music will not die for it has a soul. which cannot be bogged down. Classical music has never remained stagnant. The artists have been improvising. It is live and ticking and will remain intact. Our music has beauty end depth, which pop music lacks,” he said, optimistically.

He ended his performance by rendering an exotic Pahari tune. Which received a standing ovation. Thus ended a grand performance by a great artist. — AA


DoT to provide Internet services in city
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Private Internet Service Providing companies (ISPs) in the district will soon face formidable challenge. The government run Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has finalised testing of a project to provide Internet services in the district.

Apart from assuring better and speedy services to subscribers, the department is banking on low tariffs for the success of its project. A comparative study of the tariff chart prepared by DoT and those of private companies reveal that the latter will definitely, have to re-think its charge.

The DoT, though confident of success, may not have a smooth run to the top. According to Internet users, the services provided by the department in other cities like Delhi and Chandigarh have not been appreciated much. In the city, it is going to be a much more difficult going for the department due to the existing overload on the old exchanges.

Shortage of staff is another area which needs urgent attention. However, with no recruitment plan in the near future, this factor may delay the scheme. Then the DoT has to combat the problem of high numbers of non-feasible areas of the city.

Sounding optimistic about the Internet project, General Manager local Telecom circle, Mr J.C. Aggarwal, told Ludhiana Tribune that the final testing of the project had been completed today and the service would be started after inauguration. According to him, the department definitely has an edge over private companies in the matter of service charges. While the DoT will charge Rs 100 as registration amount, along with Rs 1200 for every 100 hours of service, private companies are charging between Rs 2500 to Rs 3000 for the same duration.

Mr Aggarwal said apart from low costs, the user will be able to avail of speedier service as compared to that provided by private companies. Explaining the process, he said the DoT will have lesser number of switches than those used by private companies, which would naturally benefit the user. He also added that though after the commissioning of the project, the speed of service of the private companies would also improve automatically, but still it would be nowhere in comparison to theirs.

The GM also revealed that the cellular service of DoT will be ready by March 2001. Initially the department will provide 3000 mobile phones lines, the numbers of which may be increased next year.

Regarding the problem of shortage of staff and overloading of the existing exchanges, Mr Aggarwal said the recruitment of the staff was a government policy. He said the overloading problem of the exchanges was being met with by the department and the conditions would improve after the commissioning of two new exchanges.Back


Embroidery units that kill innocence
By Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Most of the delicate embroidery on cloth is the work of children, most of whom are barely in their teens. Thousands of children work for about 16 hours a day in various embroidery units of the city. They earn meagre wages that range from Rs 75 to Rs 150 per day.

There about 20,000 embroidery workers in Ludhiana. A good number of them are children, most of whom have come here from Bareilly and its surrounding areas in Uttar Pradesh.

Rehman, an embroidery worker, came here from Bareilly about 15 years ago when he was 20. Now, he has a house in Kundanpuri, a scooter and three wives. Two children — Yaseen (16) and Raja (12) — were working in his house when this correspondent visited it. Rehman said they were his nephews who worked in a nearby embroidery unit. However, he discouraged the children from talking to the correspondent. Rehman answered all the questions, while the children simply nodded.

Rehman said his brother was also well-settled. However, he could not justify why they did not send Raja and Yaseen to school. “What will they do with all the useless degrees? There is so much unemployment,” Rehman said. He said the children were learning a craft that could fetch them handsome rewards.

The children did not appear to be healthy. Rheman said they worked from 8 am to 11 pm and were given an off day on every Sunday. “However, they may choose to work on Sundays as well to earn more money,” he said.

Since an embroidery worker should have a good eyesight, factory owners prefer to employ children. Moreover, children do not have to be paid good wages. The eyestrain leads to early vision problems among such child labourers.

Most of these children are brought here from villages of Uttar Pradesh. Senior artisans bring children of their relatives or acquaintances here to work in embroidery units. Factory owners claimed that these children were paid between Rs 75 and Rs 150 per day, but the children were not allowed to talk about it.

Such children work not only in interior areas like Kundanpuri, Shivpuri and Jankapuri, but also in Ghumar Mandi and Chura Bazar. Children can be seen with needles in hands in the suffocating cabins of well-decorated boutiques.

While the children get paltry wages, the prices of their works range from Rs 250 to Rs 5,000. Most of this money goes to the trader or the contractor who employs them.


PAU plant hospital helps farmers
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — The Punjab Agricultural University plant clinic is coming to the aid of a large number of farmers everyday. According to Dr N.S. Buttar, who heads the plant clinic, 7,268 farmers visited the Central Plant Clinic for redressal of problems related to agriculture, during the crop season. He said, that farmers were aware of the clinic and enthusiastic about adopting new technologies and varieties.

It was the first clinic of its own kind in the North. According to sources, it was set up by Dr A.S. Cheema, in 1978 and managed by the Department of Plant Pathology. But it was in 1993, that the plant protection unit was established at the Farmers Service Centre, PAU, with a view to serve farmers of the state

It diagnoses disorders of crops in samples received through farmers and extension functionaries and suggests remedial measures. Around 1794 farmers brought plant samples for diagnosis and remedial measures this season. Of there maximum samples i.e 548 were from plant pathology, followed by 476 samples related to entomology,297 to soil, 87 to agronomy and 184 to physiology.

The plant clinic also provides package of recommendations in various fields,vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops. Experts have been appointed from the departments of Plant Pathology, Entomology, Soil Sciences and Agronomy for effective functioning of the centre and providing prompt solutions to field problems, apart from delivering integrated pest-management technologies. The centre also renders advice to farmers. The experts conduct field visits for on-the-spot diagnosis of complex field problems.

Plant pathologists deal with plant disorders that are caused due to pathogens,while entomologists deal with identification of insects and their symptoms. Nutrient deficiencies, and toxicity are looked after by soil scientists.Agronomic experts provide information on crop-production technology.

Many paddy crops were saved this time. Major problems pertained to white backed plant hopper, leaf folder, stem border, among the incest pests,while bacterial leaf blight and sheath blight were major diseases identified by clinic scientists. Nutritional problems of rice included iron and zinc deficiency and poor quality ground water.

Dr Bhuttar said, in cotton crop, spotted bollworm, whitefly, and American bollworm were key pests as indicated by the samples. In sugarcane, attack of black bug , early shoot-borer and pyrilla were found.

The plant clinic has a full fledged, laboratory with scientific equipment. In case there is an outbreak of pests or an epidemic of any particular disease,the clinic issues a note release, based on the information received in the clinic through plant samples.

It also provides feedback to the research system for re-orienting research programmes and to assess the level of acceptance in respect of the recommendations of PAU.

The clinic also conducts practical training undergraduate students of B.Sc (Agriculture) in diagnosis of crop disorders. Mr Bhuttar said that the experts advised farmers on everything, starting from variety of the crop to be sown, its timing, fertilisers to be used, nutrient deficiencies, spray schedule and remedies on outbreak of pests.


FOREVER on the lookout for a piece of action, residents of Ludhiana appear to have gone on a sanman samaroh binge after the election of Mr Satpal Gosain, a BJP MLA, as Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha earlier this month.

As many as 17 functions to “honour” the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly have been held in the city so far and many more are in the offing. Those who have vied with each other so far to felicitate Mr Gosain include Punjab Beopar Mandal, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran, Gurdwra Alamgir, Swami Ved Bharti’s Ashram, Ludhiana Yarn Dealers Association, Synthetic Yarn and Fancy Yarn Dealers Association and Ludhiana Naujawan Sabha.

The format of these sanman samarohs is almost the same. Starting rather late in the evening, the speakers vie with each other to make long-winding speeches praising the qualities of the person being “honoured”. Mementoes are also presented to all those present on the dais followed by a late night dinner.

Mr Gosain who is a popular BJP leader of Ludhiana almost broke away from the party when he was ignored during the last expansion of the Badal ministry because of infighting in the state’s party unit. While Mr Gosain was supported by the minority group led by Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, the dominant group led by the Minister for local bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon and former state unit chief, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, was opposed to Mr Gosain.

It took a change in the leadership of the BJP’s state unit to smoothen the way for election of Mr Gosain as the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

Lucky post office

Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Communications Minister, was recently in the city to inaugurate certain new projects. He also announced a number of new facilities for the telephone subscribers. While only time will tell whether the visit would really prove fruitful for the city, one department,that is, the head post office at Ferozepore road here, has already gained much from the minister’s visit.

The old building of the post office which seemed second only to the Mini-Secretariat in terms of ill- maintenance and dirtiness was given a new look in order to welcome the minister. The dirt that seemed to have piled for years on the files, almirahs and on the walls besides spider web on the roofs and under the tables were removed and cleaned within hours.

The change was perceptible to a regular visitor when no dust-filled one’s nostrils. The dingy corridors of the post office also did not trigger cough or sneezes but instead pure air greeted one. The coridors also appeared far better after being lit up with new tubelights and bulbs.

Even the pungent smell emanating from the toilets and the dusty odour from the stacked up files in the badly maintained working rooms was a thing of the past. However, all rusting almirahs and broken furniture, which could not be cleaned, were shifted to one store room away from public gaze.

While one appreciates the efforts of the postal department to give a befitting welcome to their top boss, one also wishes at the same time that the cleanliness drive continues. For, presenting a clean office to the consumers is as important as providing them with latest facilities.

The mighty fall

For years an old, big neem tree has stood in the compound of the PWD building on Maharani Janshi Road, offering shade and to the passersby.

A violent storm lashed the city recently. Most of the residents did not know of the storm’s ferocity because it had hit the city during the night.

In the morning a lot of people were shocked to see the mighty tree lying on the road. While falling, its branches got entangled with over head electricity wires and electric poles and wires lay in a mess on the Maharani Jhansi Road slowing the traffic.

The wires have been fixed after great difficulty. However, one beautiful thing has gone — the shady, resplendent, lofty tree. Its space stands vacant. Will the passers by in their daily hustle and bustle ever spare a thought for that impressive tree which was an integral part of the scenario?

Kerala Kalavedi

Kerala Kalavedi, a club floated by Keralites of Ludhiana, which organised a splendid function on Sunday evening at Jamalpur to celebrate the first Onam of the millennium enthralled Punjabi audience. A huge colourful shamiana was put up for the occasion that could provide for a stage and enough chairs for the audience so as to give it a theatre-like look.

For the entertainment of the audience, dances , both classical and western, were presented. Dancers danced to the tunes of popular Kerala numbers . The riot of colourful lights that moved on and around the dancers in their rythms was well synchronised. All dances were highly appreciated by the audience.

An entertaining skit was also presented by the artists of Kerala Kalavedi which went down very well with the audience.

The Punjabi audience enjoyed every moment of the stage show.

Olympic ambience

Notwithstanding the general indifference about the Olympic games, currently in progress in Sydney, the staff at one of Ludhiana’s leading hotel, Majestic Park Plaza, have volunteered to create ambience of the first mega sports show here in the hotel itself. And imagine the place chosen for this. The bar of the hotel! It has been decorated to create an ambience that tries very much to match the one at Sydney “for the season” that comes only once in four years. The Olympics.

The decoration has been done all the way through the lobby to the entrance. According to the General Manager, Mr Ranjan Gupta, even the bartenders and the waiters look like sportsmen and atheletes. The two mannequins dressed up in track suits along with the Olympic kit, attract the most. The entrance to the bar has a cut out of the Olympic rings with the logo and Olympic mascot, “Olly, Syd, Mille”. (See photograph at the top of the page). A menu as tent card has been specially designed for the event with the logo on one side and the list of cocktails/mocktails and snacks on the other. The items are named either after the Olympic personalities or the games.

The staff has been dressed in white T-shirts with the logo in the front and numbering on the back side with hostess dressed in red colour track suits and managers in a yellow colour track suits.

— Sentinel


‘India set to become IT superpower’
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Who is afraid of the WTO, the global market and competition it will bring in its wake in a few years time? Certainly not the industry.

The earlier fears that the Indian industry which has so far been thriving in a protected market, will be wiped out by the multinationals in the fierce competition in the global markets, have now been replaced by a slow realisation that it is not such a negative development. It should be looked at as an opportunity to expand, upgrade and progress for the Indian industry and entrepreneurship to sell its products worldwide.

The Internet and e-commerce has brought the world together like never before. Distances have ceased to matter. What is available in New York, London and Paris or for that matter, in any part of the globe, has now become accessible to those in India through the Internet.

India which is already on its way to become a world IT superpower, should take advantage of its position while the Indian industry should seize this opportunity and market its products throughout the world.

These views were expressed by several speakers in a talk with the TNS and also at a function held here last night to inaugurate the Ludhiana e-business centre which is claimed to be India’s first business-to-business infomediary. These included Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr M.M.Vyas, Chairman of the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, and Mr D.S.Chawla, President, Jammu Colony Small Scale Manufacturers Association and Senior Vice-President of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association. The infomediary, was inaugurated by Lala Lajpat Rai.

The website is a one stop marketplace that allows buyers and sellers from within the country and around the world to transact business online. Over 30,000 buyers and suppliers having the ability to trade across 26 industrial segments and 134 product categories are already registered with and are using its unique facilities of intermediation insight and information to help them make judicious business decisions.

A unique feature of the website is that you can list your company’s products for free. It brings you news and views specific to your industry. With incisive and well-researched analysis, this function helps you identify the trends, concerns and key success factors affecting business to help you make informed decisions. Throwing light on these aspects are the news room, industry snapshot, state policy, features, face-to-face, budget special and trade fairs facilities.


Watch your pet’s pedigree
By Asha Ahuja

Sept 19 — In the past two decades, keeping a dog of a good breed has become fashionable for the people of Ludhiana. So a number of dog breeders have sprung up. A large number of kennels have also come up. The periodically held ‘dog shows’ give an opportunity to the dog lovers to exhibit their beautiful and healthy pets.

Dogs of good breeds like German Shepherd, Dalmation, Boxer, Labrador, and Dachshund cost something between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. Dog breeding has, therefore, become a lucrative business.

Mr Talwinder Sahota has 15 years’ experience as a dog breeder and his dogs have been regularly winning at dog shows. He says, “Since the craze for possessing dogs of good breeds has grown, some unscrupulous breeders are taking advantage of the ignorance of the people regarding dogs. They sell them mixed breeds instead of pedigreed dogs. When a pedigreed pup is sold, the buyers should see the pedigree certificates of both parents of the pup. To caution the people, I have started displaying the popular breeds of dogs in Sarabha Nagar market. I tell people about the salient features of different breeds that the buyer gets his money’s worth.

Rabies and distemper can be fatal for the pets. According to Mr Sahota dogs should be vaccinated at regular intervals against diseases.

The most interesting part of keeping pets is their training. It should start when the pup is five months old. Training generally lasts for five months. Mr Sahota trains his dogs to guard the house. He gives them training in obedience which means obeying commands. Dogs can be trained to do a lot of thing. Discovery Channel, even showed a dog who was able to detect a cancerous growth on his owner’s leg and saved her life, for at that stage her cancer could be treated.

Dogs can also be fed on a vegetarian diet. If you are a vegetarian, you can feed your dog with soyabean chunks, milk and curd.

There is a misconception that dogs cause diseases in men. A family with children should go for a Labrador as a pet as they are very gentle. For people who are going to keep a dog for the first time, Mr Sahota suggests a Pomeranian for they are cute, fluffy and easy to manage.

These days when there is a spate of robberies everywhere, teach your dog not to be friendly with the strangers. They can be trained to attack firearms if some intruder is carrying these. “Beware of the dog” signboard acts as a deterrent for an intruder.

Dogs are so full of affection and unbridled love towards their owners that they reduce stress. Playing with the pet, bathing him, can bring a lot of happy and lighter moments in your life and keep you free from tension.Back


‘Stop exploiting ground water’
From Our Correpondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Excessive use of ground water for agriculture has resulted in problems like depletion of ground water level and increase in soil salinity. At present 80 per cent of the total ground water is used for agriculture and only 15 per cent is used for industry and other purposes. These were the words of Dr J.S. Samra, Deputy Director General (Natural Resources Management), Indian Council of Agricutural Research, who was inaugurating a meeting of the scientists engaged in research on ‘optimisation of ground water utilisation through wells and pumps’ under the All-India Coordinated Research Project here today.

Dr Samra suggested that to overcome this problem, measures like improvement in the efficiency of water use and formulation of a policy to minimise water consumption for agricultural purposes should be implemented. He called upon scientists to generate technologies for achieving maximum productivity with minimum water requirements. He also suggested effective linkages among various organisations working on different aspects of hydrology.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana said that the fast growing population is the root cause of the over-exploitation of natural resources like soil and water. Elaborating his point, Dr Aulakh said that the population of India which stood at 19 crore in 1901 increased by 23 crore in the first half of the 20th century, but in the second half, it increased by 65 crore, to reach the one billion mark. If we continue to go at this speed, the Malthusiam theory will prove correct and our natural resources will not be able to withstand the pressure of or teeming millions. Dr Aulakh said that for growing one hectare of paddy, 20,000 cubic metre of water are required. This quantity is sufficient to sustain 400 urban families for a year. This calls for judicious use of the already scarce water resources.

Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director of Research, said that our major challenge is to make the green revolution, evergreen by sustaining natural resources. The present trend of over-exploiting ground water in states like Punjab and Haryana needs to be checked. Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, welcomed the chief guest and the delegates. Dr P.R. Bhatnagar, Project Coordinator and Dr S.R. Singh, Project Director, D.W.M.R. Patna, also spoke on the occasion. More than 40 research scientists in the area of Soil and Water Management from all over the country are participating in the two day meet.


Training course on rice, wheat production
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has sanctioned a research project on “Sustainability of Rice-Wheat Production System in Team of Excellence mode (HRD only)” under NATP with a total outlay of 127.5 lakh.

The first training course on soil management was organised from July 24, to Sept 8. Ten scientists from different universities and the ICAR institutes participated in this training course.

Dr K.S. Sekhon, Dean Postgraduate Studies, presided over the concluding function and distributed certificates to the trainees on successful completion of the training.

Chief guest advised the trainees to apply the knowledge gained during the course for enhancing the sustainability of the Rice-Wheat Production System, at their respective institutes , Dr B.R. Arora, Head of the Department of Soils, welcomed the chief guest and outlined the various activities of the research project.

Main objective of this project was to provide knowledge and expertise in the intensive Rice-Wheat Production System in six areas including soil management, water management, natural resource management, integrated plant nutrient management, integrated pest management and socio-economic policy issues.

Dr Yadvinder Singh , Senior Soil Chemist, who was coordinator of the training programme explained the various activities carried out during the training course.

The course included lectures by experts from PAU and other institutes. Apart from theory classes, a significant part of the training was devoted for providing practical knowledge to the trainees in the important areas related to soil management.

A four-day education cum excursion tour was organised to visit the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Chandigarh, the NFL, Naya Nangal, and the HPKVV, Palampur. Back


PAUTA’s concern over Punwire deposits
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — A meeting of the general body of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) was held today to discuss the issues of arrears of revised scales of pay and the investment of PF amount with various financial institutions. The other items on the agenda were to seek clarifications on various points of the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and the investments with various financial institutions including Punwire.

The President of the association, Dr H.S. Brar said that the comptroller had issued a letter to the Drawing and Dispersing Officer (DDO) of the university to draw the bills of the arrears for the period from April 1, 1996 to March 31, 1997 on account of the revised payscales. He also informed that Punjab Government would release its share of 20 per cent in due course of time.

The teacher felt concerned over the deposits of PF amounts of teachers and employees made with Punwire, a few years ago. They wanted that Mr S.K. Bhatia, Comptroller PAU, should be requested to confirm the assets of Punwire. At the same time they suggested that the university should review all its PF investments with various financial institutions and commercial organisation. They demanded that money should be deposited only with such institutions as are financially sound.

As regard, the new Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) the President, PAUTA, claimed that the notification issued by PAU and the ICRA were in essence the same. However, he suggested that if any group of teachers had any reservations about the implementation of the new CAS, it should discuss its point of view with the PAUTA Executive Committee.


3 post offices to be auctioned
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — A District Court here has ordered the auction of three post offices in the city on October 25 on account of non-payment of compensation for land acquired by the Defence Ministry of 22 persons of Daba village near here .

The court had earlier ordered the attachment of the three post offices — the Head Post Office, Central Post Office and a post office at Old District Courts.

The Defence Ministry had acquired land of the villagers in 1987. The villagers who were not satisfied with the compensation amount had approached the court. In 1995, a lower court had decided the case in favour of the villagers at which the Defence Ministry had paid the increased amount. However, the ministry did not pay the interest on the amount due to which the villagers again approached the court.

After the auction, an amount of Rs 12.26 lakh would be paid to the villagers.


YC to work in urban areas
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — The Youth Congress (YC) would launch a determined fight against the problems being faced by urban people. Addressing a function organised at Jawahar Nagar here today to felicitate him on his appointment as Chairman of the Urban Development Cell of Indian Youth Congress (IYC), Mr Pawan Diwan said a plan was being formulated to seek cooperation from the people for a concerted bid to tackle specific urban problems like pollution, chaotic traffic, unplanned growth of cities and deteriorating environment.

He castigated the SAD-BJP government for failing on all fronts. As a result of short — sighted and populist policies, all sections of people from farmers, trade and industry people were frustrated, he added.


 45 coloured chicks seized
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Activists of the People For Animals (PFA) seized 45 coloured chicks from a vendor near Dumorian Pull here today.

According to Dr Sandeep Jain, President, PFA, they received information that some people were selling coloured chicks at different places for Rs 5 each.

Dr Jain said selling of coloured chicks amounted to cruelty against them. He pointed out that the chicks were dyed with synthetic colours which are toxic in content. Besides harming the chicks, they prove hazardous for the children also who play with them. The chicks had reportedly been brought from Amristar.Back


College girl killed in accident
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — A young college-going girl was killed in a freak accident here today.

The deceased, Harjit Kaur, a B.Com final year student of Khalsa College for Women, was going on her scooter (PB-10D-5353). Her friend, Preeti who was driving her own scooter (PB-10AD-2910) was driving along her side. When the girls reached near PAU Gate No. 2, the two scooters collided with each other and both the girls fell off in opposite directions. An MC trolley (PB-10Y-3478) coming from behind crushed her to death. 


Illegal colonies

WHY cannot Ludhiana follow the guidelines that are applicable to Delhi? Delhi also has many unauthorised colonies where government approval is given on payment of 150 per cent of the cost of the house. In a fast growing city like Ludhiana, such a policy will check the mushroom growth of colonies. Besides bringing a good amount of revenue to the corporation, it will ensure better living conditions for the residents and give a better look to the city. But such a decision will entail considerable firmness on the part of the politicians and the administrative machinery.

At present there is no provision in the Municipal Act to enable the Corporation to enforce such a rule, and the administration has failed to check unauthorised construction. By the time the process of bringing into force such a rule is completed, it will be too late. That is the reason why the city remains neglected in the matter of development. Whenever the Corporation plans to remove the unauthorised colonies, it faces tough opposition. The city really needs a strong administration, adequately backed politically, if it has to be given a good look.



Victim’s family alleges harassment
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Family members of a woman who had died in a road accident have accused the policemen at the Vardhman post of rude and uncooperative behaviour. This is just another example of the failure of the Shrimaan Scheme launched by the police.

Satnam Kaur, 52, was pillion riding a scooter with her husband, Parminder Singh, on September 15. Near Samrala Chowk, their scooter was hit from behind by a truck. As a result of this collision, the woman fell off the scooter, sustained a head injury and died on the spot. Parminder Singh also received injuries.

The truck driver, reportedly, ran away. The mob that had gathered there pelted stones at the truck and damaged it. Later, the police impounded the truck and the scooter as case property.

Parminder Singh said, “Whenever, we visit the police post to find out if the accused has been caught, the abusive language used by policeman puts us off.”

A nephew of the victim, Jagjit Singh, said he had visited the police post to get a copy of the FIR that was needed to obtain a death certificate. He said the munshi at the police post had refused to cooperate with him and had asked him to produce those persons who had damaged the truck after the accident.

“A family that is trying to deal with an untimely death of a member is being harassed by the police. It is not fair,” he said.Back


Scooterist killed
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, Sept 19 — A scooterist was killed and another injured when a bus struck their scooter near Sahnewal Khurd on the national highway. It is reported that Karnail Singh and Balwinder Singh of Katani village were going on their scooter (PB10-AM-2385) when a speedy PRTC bus (PB-6B-3557) crushed the scooter injuring both Karnail Singh and Balwinder Singh. On the way to the hospital, Balwinder Singh breathed his last while the other is still under treatment.


Car stolen
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — A Maruti Zen car (PB-10-V-0732) belonging to Ms Ravinder Malik, a lecturer of Economics in the Government College stolen for Boys, was reportedly from outside the college premises on Monday.Back


Sheer grit pulls them through
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Lack of job opportunities in the public sector and tough competition coupled with low wages in the private sector have forced modern Punjabi women to look for new avenues for employment in recent times. The changing social realities, increasing education standards and ambitions to ‘prove one’s worth’ have also given a boost to this phenomenon. Consequently, more and more women from all sections of the society are becoming entrepreneurs.

A study of women entrepreneurs in Ludhiana city was recently conducted by the Department of Family Resource Management, PAU, under the guidance of Mrs Savita Batish, Associate Professor in the department and Prof S.K. Singla of Business Management Department in association with Miss S. Sharma. From eight localities of the city like Sarabha Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar and Civil Lines, 120 entrepreneurs were interviewed. The areas of study included boutiques, beauty parlours, florists and food processing units.

It was found that about 50 per cent of women entrepreneurs, running boutiques were earning more than Rs 10,000. As much as 26.7 per cent of boutiques owners were getting more than 25 per cent of margins on their initial investments. About 80 per cent of women entrepreneurs owning food processing units were earning more than Rs 6000. In case of beauty parlours, about one third women were earning between Rs 10,000 and Rs 14,000. In case of florists, however, 28 per cent women earned between Rs 2000-6000. The study found boutiques and food processing units more profitable as compared to other enterprises.

Explaining the reason, Mrs Batish said, “The sale of clothes is increasing day by day because of changing trends in fashion. People are ready to pay money for style. In food products, the profit is increasing because of the trend of fast foods and the busy schedule of home makers”. Marketing and lack of proper training are the major problems besides finances that are faced by entrepreneurs.

Women were motivated by a number of factors such as self-motivation, cosmopolitan localities and mass media. Around 42.33 per cent respondents were self-motivated. Better future prospects, and the urge for good work and better income also motivated them. Under the cosmopolite factor (26.04 per cent) training programmes, dissatisfaction from previous jobs and financial help from banks were motivating factors. Interestingly, only 17.33 per cent of women entrepreneurs were motivated by the mass media. In this regard, advertisements in newspapers were ranked first and television advertising ranked second.

Mrs Veena Dhanda, who has been running cookery training classes from the last 10 years, was of the view that, “Now more and more women are starting their own businesses as compared to the situation 10 years ago. Owned business builds more confidence and earns more respect in the family and society, and of course, a lot of economic independence too.”

In fact, a number of women have started their own businesses like hosiery units, fashion designing and computer education. Family members are also cooperating increasingly. Mr Amit Jain, son of Mrs Mridula Jain, believed to be the first woman to export Shingora shawls in the region, felt, “We are proud of our mother whose entrepreneurship inspried us and others.”

When respondents were asked about the utilisation of their income, it was found that more than half of the women contributed to the family, 43.33 per cent recycled the money in their enterprise and about 25 per cent usually invested money for big purchases such as buying plots or automobiles.

Women were found more successful as compared to their male counter parts. Mr Balwant Singh, General Manager of District Industrial Centre, was of the view, “Except during the early period of marriage and the young age of their children, they generally contribute more time to their business.

They are more serious ,hardworking and also good customers for bankers.


‘Cut custom duty to stabilise petrol price’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — Mr Joginder Kumar, President of Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India in a press release today vehemently decried the ill-conceived move of hiking prices of petro products when the industry was facing a recessionary trend. Any hike in the domestic petro products would be inflationary and would have a cascading effect on the industry. The prices of basic inputs and transportation would go up and in turn impact the cost of living. The industry cannot absorb the proposed hike in any way at this point.

Mr Joginder Kumar said that the rate of petroleum was fixed when the cost of crude oil per barrel was $ 10 per barrel, but the government did not pass on the benefit to the consumers. He further pointed out that at present, of the total cost, of custom duty and other taxes was 40 per cent. He demanded that custom duty and other taxes might be reduced proportionately so that the government may not be forced to hike the petro-product rates.Back


Seminar on corporate governance
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 19 — The Ludhiana chapter of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is organising a seminar on “Corporate governance and the role of company secretary” on September 20 at hotel Baron, Ludhiana.

The seminar will be addressed by Mr J. Sridhar, President, Dr S.P. Narang, Secretary of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and Mr Nesar Ahmad, Chairman, Northern Indian Regional Council of the ICSI. Justice J.S. Narang of Punjab and Haryana High Court shall preside over the seminar.

On this occasion the chapter will also release a souvenir and a directory of members of Ludhiana chapter.Back

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