Thursday, September 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 

Ludhiana councillors oppose octroi privatisation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Cutting across party lines, councillors belonging to all parties, rejected the proposal put in the general house meeting of the municipal corporation, held here today to discuss entrusting the octroi collection to private contractors. The move to regularise encroachments by employees of the civic body and to offer alternative residential plots to them, also fell through after opposition by the councillors.

Yet another ambitious project of the MC — construction, renovation and maintenance of the general bus stand in the city, which had been taken up with much fanfare, has also been aborted under directions from the state government and the agenda item dealing with the subject was withdrawn.

The councillors were reluctant to approve the curtailment of water supply duration in the city, mooted in the wake of rapid depletion of ground water table, but were persuaded by the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal and Commissioner, Dr S.S.Sandhu to face reality. The water supply in the afternoon would be the casualty and the decision would be put into effect after the forthcoming festival season.

The main proposals approved in the three-hour-long meeting, which witnessed many a stormy debate between councillors belonging to the ruling combine and opposition parties, including the Congress were, shifting of the MC headquarters to an other suitable place, taking over of the industrial focal point for development and maintenance, measures for ground water recharging and conservation and regularisation of unauthorised sewerage and water connections.

Expressing their displeasure over the government stand and the assertion by the commissioner that the directions were in accordance with the municipal act, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia (Congress) and Dr Jai Parkash (Independent) said that the dignity of the house had to be maintained and no such directions of the government should have been straight away implemented by the administration. As the councillors stuck to their stand, the MC officers were called in who then remained present through the proceedings.

The rejection of the proposal to privatise octroi collection was a big embarrassment for the ruling combine, particularly for the Mayor, who repeatedly tried to impress upon the councillors that the move could bring in a much needed jump (around Rs 25 lakh over the present annual income), Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra and Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia (both from the Congress) expressed dissent and were joined by many others. Mr Dukhia (SAD) urged the MC administration to streamline the collection network and effectively check octroi evasion, which, he added, would yield more than what would accrue after privatisation.
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Ceramics mainstay of dental rehabilitation’
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — A leading French dental technician, Mr Gilles Martin, says that ceramics has come to stay as the ultimate material for dental rehabilitation throughout the world.

In an interview with TNS here today, he said ceramics had already replaced other materials for dental rehabilitation in various parts of the world and he was glad to note that it was finding increasing acceptance in a developing country like India. Ceramics is a material which has been in use since the beginning of the last century for dental care and repair. But it was only in recent years that its use has become so widespread that it had replaced almost all other materials, including metal and composites.

Mr Martin is in town these days to conduct a course on the use of dental ceramics. He will also deliver a lecture on various aspects of the use of ceramics in dental rehabilitation. In Ludhiana, he is helping a local dentist in honing his skills in the use of ceramics on dental caps and crowns at his latest, state-of-the-art dental centre. Although he has visited India many times, this is the first time he has had an occasion to see Ludhiana. And he has liked what he has seen here. Although he has been busy training others in the use of latest techniques in dental ceramics, he found time to drive on a scooter and later on a cyclerickshaw through some of the busy streets of Ludhiana. “I like it. I will be coming here again,” he remarks with a broad smile.

“People back home and at my institute in Paris say that I must be crazy to be coming to countries like India again and again because they think that there is nothing here”, says Mr Martin.”But I keep on telling them that India is progressing fast. It is one of the nicest place to be in. Since they don’t believe me, I am taking back with me a large number of photographs to show them that things are not as bad here as they think”.

Born in Paris in 1956, Mr Martin graduated from Dental College,Paris, in 1974. He did his masters in Ceramics in 1980 before specialising in aesthetics. He also worked in the University of Paris as a consultant for fixed prosthetics. At present, he has the best dental laboratory in France and has top models and media personalities as his clients. He has written five research papers and helped in the development of dental materials. He has visited more than 30 countries and delivered more than 200 lectures all over the world besides conducting around 20 training courses. He is also on the International Advisory Panel of Cermaco, USA,

Returning to his favourite subject of ceramics, he explained that in the beginning, there were only high fusing ceramics which required to be heated up to 1400 C. In the last 40 years, other ceramics were

developed which still required to be heated up to 1000 C. But in the last one decade, ceramics with relatively low fusing points requiring heat of up to 750 C had been developed. This had made it easier to use ceramics and the results were also far better. Ceramics was the best possible material for rehabilitation because it offered best aesthetics, was most biocompatible to the oral tissues, had proven itself to be most comfortable to the patients and was also time tested over last 100 years.

There were other materials too e.g. composites, but these had many drawbacks. Composites could not be used for big restorations. These were also not dimensionally stable as compared to ceramics. Composites also tended to get stained over a period of time, especially at the joint between tooth and restoration.

Mr Martin says that there is scope for improvement in properties of ceramics. In that effort now, metal-free ceramics have been developed with all earlier properties i.e. very high aesthetics according to the needs of the modern day, especially for models, media personalities and sports.
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Cops ‘spare’ murder accused
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The Daboo murder case continues to be shrouded in controversy. It has been alleged that two persons involved in the murder have been let off after a deal has been struck with top police officers.

It was alleged that the arrest of a Youth Congress leader, Mr Ashok Prashar, was due to the insistence of some leaders of the ruling party. Two of the accused in the case — Darshan Singla and Bhindi — have allegedly been spared because they have bribed the police.

The local police has denied these allegations. It says that the case file has been seen by at least five gazetted officers — SP (City I), SP (Detective), DSP Satish Malhotra, his successor DSP Gurnam Singh and DSP (City II) — overruling the possibility of any hanky- panky. However, allegedly the SP (D), Mr Gurkirpal Singh, had received lakhs of rupees in bribe from the families of Darshan Singla and Bhindi, a resident of Islamganj. “It was because of this that the names of these persons did not figure in the chargesheets,” sources said.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh said Darshan Singla had been arrested by the police and released only after he had been found to be innocent. He also denied that the facts had been twisted.

Two persons had got Daboo released from a police station before handing him over to his enemy Aman Goel. Aman, along with four others, allegedly murdered Daboo after this.

Daboo had been picked up by the Model Town police on May 22 for gambling in Dhakka Colony along with six others. While the other persons were allegedly let off at the insistence of some local politicians, Daboo was kept in the police custody and release only on May 25, the day of the murder. It is learnt that the car in which he was murdered was being driven by Darshan Singla. Bhindi was driving another car that was following the one being driven by Darshan that day.

It is alleged that after the murder, the accused washed their blood-stained car and exchanged it with another one. After killing Daboo, the accused called up Ashok Prashar. After this, the YC leader reached the spot along with his gunman, Phulla, and helped the accused in throwing the body into a canal.

Aman Goel had surrendered before the Model Town police a few days after the murder. the CIA staff had then arrested the other accused, including Darshan and Bhindi. However, except these two, the YC leader and his gunman, all others were charged with murder under Sections 302, 364 and 201 of the IPC.

During the further investigations, the role of the YC leader in the incident became known and a case was registered against him. However, though the police had obtained the arrest warrants of Ashok Prashar a couple of weeks in advance, he was not arrested.

After the YC leader was arrested on September 10, Darshan Singla absconded.
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Kisan Mela begins in PAU today
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The Kisan Mela is an interactive process between agriculture technocrats and farmers. While farmers get the latest knowledge, university scientists get a feedback which greatly helps in formulating future strategies. This university-farmer interaction has given a tremendous boost to agriculture in the state,’ says Dr S.S. Gill, Additional Director, Extension Education, PAU.

As knowledge about the latest technology and market demand is vital for success in agriculture, tomorrow’s kisan mela is being held on the theme of Akal Nal Wah, Te Raj Ke Khah (sow with wisdom and reap a bouny).

Seeds of the latest varieties will be made available to farmers, says Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Director (Farms). He said 6000 bags of wheat seed and 10,000 kits of vegetables seeds will be distributed in this mela.

Various departments of the university will put up their stalls showcasing the latest in farm technology and innovations to the farmers. The Department of Soils will collect soil and water sample for testing.

The Department of Plant Breeding will make available various new varieties, including PR115, PR116 of rice, LD694 of cotton, bio9637 of maize and COJ86, COS8436 of sugarcane.

The Department of Agronomy will provide information about more yield with minimum tillage and cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants. They will also provide information of crop geometry, herbicides for rabi crops, nutritional requirement of different cropping systems, water management for sunflower and kharif crops and economically viable cropping systems for the state.

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, will provide information about plant techniques and yield for poplar, eucalyptus, teak and babul which are fodder trees for Punjab.

The Department of Fisheries will enable the farmers to know about the culturable fish species, fish ponds, fish feed and feeding methods, water-quality parameters for successful fish farming, use of aerators in ponds for higher fish production, convenience products developed from carp flesh, fish diseases, their control, fish seed production, cat fish and prawn culture, integration of fish farming with agriculture, dairy, poultry, piggery, duckery, etc.

The Department of Zoology will give information about control of rodents using zinc phosphide, bromodiolone, recumin etc., new modified rat traps, baiting methods for rodent control for rabi-kharif crops, use of physical repellents for scaring birds, control of loss caused by parakeet to the sunflower crop, use of non-lethal chemical repellents.

Scientists of the Plant Disease Clinic will provide on-the-spot diagnosis of diseases by plant samples. There will be a big exhibition of agricultural-allied industry where manufacturers will show case and sell their products.

Besides this, there will be a field demonstration where farmers can get first hand information of farm technology or machinery.

The annual kisan mela for kharif season this year, will be inaugurated by Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab.
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Evading tax through bank drafts
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The misuse of bearer bank drafts worth crores of rupees has come to light in Ludhiana and other major industrial towns, causing great loss to the national and state exchequers through evasion of taxes and levies.

In Ludhiana alone, transactions worth crores of rupees are carried out every month in bearer bank drafts which have no official record and, therefore, do not attract taxes and levies. And all this is done with the active cooperation of bank officials who issue bearer bank drafts.

Sources in the business and banking circles say that since those engaged in trade, commerce and industry are forever on the lookout for ways and means of maximising their profits even if it means cutting corners as far as the law of the land is concerned, transacting business through bearer cheques has been flourishing. It has all the advantages of conducting business through liquid cash without going through hassles of handling large amounts of cash, maintaining accounts and consequently, paying taxes, levies etc.

The practice has now become so widespread that it no longer raises any eyebrows in business, trade, commerce , industry and banking circles. Trade and business circles claim that most of the businessmen, including some big industrial houses, have now adopted the route of bearer drafts to conduct — at least a part of their routine business. This is being done with the cooperation of banks.

The payments are made through bank drafts which are not account payees. Such a draft can be encashed by any person at any time, provided the bearer is identified by someone in the bank.

The parallel currency market is run by a vast army of agents, who are operating in various cities. According to market sources, as most people prefer not to bring money transactions on record the only option for them is to make the transactions through cash. However, for people who transact money from one city to another, cash transaction besides being difficult is also not safe. The only option is through non- payee account demand drafts.

Suppose a person who has to make a payment of Rs 1 lakh to someone in Delhi, he will transact it through the bearer draft in order to save it from being brought on record. But the matter does not end here.

The recipient of the bearer draft encashes it only if he needs the cash. In case he has to pay money to someone else, he will straightway forward the bearer draft he has already received. Thus a bearer draft passes through several hands until the time that it has to expire after its life of six months.

But in case one wants to encash it, he does not need to open an account in the bank. There is already a well-knit network of commission agents who help people in encashing the bearer drafts. The commission for encashing the drafts locally is 0.5 per cent and for the outstation drafts is 2 per cent.

In Ludhiana, many people engaged in hosiery and textile industry resort to this practice . The banks issue non-account payee drafts up to the denomination of Rs 20,000 only. But most people make the drafts for an amount of Rs 9980 or Rs 19,940, which includes the bank commission also.

A senior official of a nationalised bank confirmed that the practice is on in Ludhiana and all other industrial towns in the country. And it is not that the banks are not aware of it. But the banks feel helpless as they cannot prevent it. “Any person coming with a non-account payee draft with an endorsement that he is known to the bank can encash the draft”, he pointed out.

Several businessmen contacted by this reporter admitted this practice. They disclosed that the practice was advantageous in many ways. It helps in evading tax. Besides a bearer draft is as good as a currency note, which you can encash any time — thanks to a widespread network of commission agents dealing with them.

The businessmen claimed that everything that goes on in the parallel currency trade is well within the knowledge of banking officials. The agents also operate in collusion with bank officials and also share a portion of the commission with them.
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The lost home and sincere friends
MEMORIES OF PARTITION

THE month of August every year brings a flood of sweet and bitter memories of the days of partition of our motherland. Ours was the only Hindu family in Chak 51/3R in Okara tehsil (now a district) of Montgomery district. I vividly remember my childhood friends and classmates Nazir Ahmed, Sher Mohammed, Sardar Mohd., Ahmed Din, Allah Rakha etc. of my village.

As my elder brother, Sardar Lal Vij was posted at Ludhiana, I joined Government College, Ludhiana, in 1947 where Mr Jehangir Mohammed, who later became Education Minister of Pakistan, was the Principal. The summer vacation was announced early that year due to the worsening law and order situation and I went to my native village. Although the clouds of communal frenzy had started thickening and hordes of misguided youths and anti-social elements had started looting members of the minority community, yet our village remained an island of peace. We lustily joined the celebration of the creation of Pakistan when the Pakistani flag was hoisted atop our village mosque. However, things started worsening and we were advised to move out of the village. But it was not safe for us to travel alone and nobody in our village was prepared to accompany us to Chak 56/4R (Chak Mellewala), inhabited mostly by Sikhs, for fear of the roaming gangs of marauders. At last Ch. Mohammed Mangta came forward and escorted us safely to Chak Mellewala on August 18. Before leaving our village, we handed over our jewellery and valuables to our neighbour, Ch. Mohammed Hussan for safe keeping, as we were sure that we would soon return to our home. However, we could neither go back nor claim our valuables as we were told that government officials had collected those from Ch. Mohammed. Hussan. Ironically, my elder brother, Madan Lal, who was in the Army and was working with Capt. Mehboob Ali Khan Grumani, Army Recruiting Officer at Multan, had opted for the Pakistan Army. However later when my father realised that cordial relations between India and Pakistan were a very distant possibility he requested my brother to get a release from the Pakistan army. Capt. Mehboob Ali Khan Grumani not only got him released but personally escorted him to safety up to the Hussainiwala border and even gave him cash and some other parting gifts to prove that there was no dearth of noble souls among the Muslims.

By August 19, it had become clear to the Hindus and Sikhs at Chak Mellewala that they would have to leave for India and for the sake of safety they must travel in big caravans or ‘kafilas’. All of us shifted to Chak 67 of Capt. Gurdial Singh with whatever that we could carry in carts or on our heads. Here, some 20 or 25 persons tried to board a train at adrabad railway station, but were reportedly massacred by a patrol of the Pakistan Army. At last, Capt. Gurdial Singh was able to secure two Gorkha and two Dogra

armed guards to escort us on our way to India for which we started on August 21. Besides these guards, some licence-holders in the kafila, which was almost four miles long, were still having their arms. We got the disturbing news that hordes of armed Muslim fanatics would loot the ‘kafila’ and molest the women. This fear was further confirmed by the large number of human bodies that we saw scattered on and around the road. Besides praying to the Almighty some respectable persons in our ‘kafila’ approached the Deputy Commissioner of Montgomery. He lived up to his reputation of being a straightforward officer and immediately issued shoot-at-sight order against any potential miscreant and also clamped a curfew in the area. Thus, haggard, and in tattered clothes, braving incessant rain and the ever lurking fear of the killers, we covered 15 to 20 miles a day and at last heaved a sigh of relief on reaching Fazilka via Sulemanki on our way to Ferozepur and Ludhiana on September 2, only to discover that we had become refugees in our own country.

Much water has since flown down the Jehlum and the Satluj and I have retired as Superintendent of Police and my only son, Parveen, who was a captain in the Army, at present is the District Food and Supplies Controller at Ludhiana, but we still cannot forget out lost home, land and some of the very affectionate and sincere friends there and still long to visit them.   —Harbans Lal Vij
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New seed varieties to be launched

PUNJAB Agricultural University will formally launch some new varieties of seeds tomorrow in the Kisan Mela. The varieties will be launched by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. According to Mr S.Gill, Director Seeds, these varieties are CH3 (chillies), Punjab upma (tomato), Sheetal (maize) and PBDG4 (gram).

Regarding the new chilli hybrid CH3, he said, it is suitable for sowing at the end of October. It is a cross between MS 12, and S2530. It is recommended for early sowing. It has dark green foliage. The immature fruit is dark green which turns dark red on maturity. It is resistant to a number of diseases and its fruit is bigger in size. The Vitamin C content is 109.95 mg per 100 gram. It has an average yield of 240 quintals per hectare.

Mr Gill also informed that a new tomato variety, Punjab Upma will also be formerly released tomorrow. It is a sturdy plant, with dense foliage cover and broad leaflets. The fruit is oval, medium, firm and deep red. It takes 181 days to ripen. Because of its dark red colour, it will be more suitable for processing. Its yield will be around 220 quintals per acre or 550 quintals per hectare, under normal conditions.

Sheetal variety of maize is also a hybrid. Its plants are comparatively more resistant to rust then variety Pratap. It matures in 180 days. Its yield is around 25 quintals per acre.

The gram variety, PbDG 4, is suitable for rainy conditions and for dry farming. Grains are bold and the seeds matures in 160 days.
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Wireless phone for non-feasible areas
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — A large number of residents of the district, who had applied for a telephone connection but could not get one as their respective areas had been declared non-feasible by the Department of Telecom here, have now a reason to cheer.

The DoT has finalised a project of providing a cable-less telephone service through WireLess in Local Loop system (WILL) in the city.

The DoT will only have to install telephone sets at the subscriber’s residence and there would be no need of laying down lines for connecting the telephone to an exchange.The call will be put through by the department through a wireless loop system. General Manager, J.C. Aggarwal said the facility will be commissioned shortly.
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Senate poll results
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Mr Satish Sharma of Arya College here has won the Punjab University Senate poll with 319 votes, the only contestant crossing the quota of 225. He has been elected for the third time on the Senate. Mr Amarjit Singh Dua, a lecturer of Punjabi at Government College for Women here, has also been victorious. He was earlier nominated member on the Senate.

The two lecturers from SD Government College, Mr Jaipal Singh, President, Government Colleges Teachers Association, and Mr Hardeep Singh, lost the elections. Mr Jaipal Singh lost by just six votes.
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Illegal structures demolished
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The municipal authorities demolished some shops in the H block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here yesterday following complaints by some local residents that the constructions were illegal.

Municipal officials accompanied by a strong police contingent swooped into action yesterday and demolished five shops that were under construction in the Community Centre complex. The shops were reportedly being constructed by the Welfare Society of the area.

Residents appear to be divided into two groups. While the Welfare Society favoured the construction of shops, several people opposed it saying that the space was meant for the construction of the community centre only.

According to Mr Ajit Singh Batra, a local shopkeeper, the shops were illegally being constructed by the welfare society and they were not even approved by the Municipal Corporation. Mr Batra said the shops were being constructed on the land marked for the Community Centre.

The city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, had laid the foundation stone of the Community Centre about three weeks ago. At that time, he had said, though he could not get funds from the Municipal Corporation for the purpose he would ensure that these were made available from some other sources.

The Welfare Society of the area, reportedly, collected money from the residents for the purpose. Instead of finishing the construction, the society, reportedly, invested the money in building shops. Residents objected to it and submitted a representation to the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana.

The representation that had been signed by several persons including the President of the local Shopkeepers Association, Mr Joginder Singh, said, “Welfare Society H and I Block, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, has begun the construction of shops on the land for the Community Centre... without any resolution, without a prior approval of the General Body, against the wishes of the public and without the sanction of the MC”.

The representation urged the Commissioner to stop the construction and take action against the persons responsible. It alleged that the society had also filed some fictitious bills for Rs 40,000 in the name of the maintenance of seven parks in the area.
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Women volunteers to assist BSF
UNI

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The Punjab Home Guards have started recruiting women volunteers to assist the Border Security Force in frisking women going across the security fence along Indo-Pak Border to undertake agricultural work in their family fields.

Stating this here today, the Punjab Home Guards Commandant-General, Mr G.S. Bhullar, said the recruitment of women volunteers was undertaken in view of the resentment in farmers’ families who objected to frisking of their women- folk by jawans of the BSF. He said the women volunteers were being recruited from border villages so that they were readily available for the task.

Mr Bhullar, who is also Director of Civil Defence, Punjab, said with the declaration of six more towns as Civil Defence Towns (CDT) in Punjab last year, the total number of CDTs has now gone upto 17. Abohar, Gurdaspur, Batala, Hoshiarpur, Patiala and Mohali joined the ranks of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Nangal, Halwara, Adampur, Barnala, Bathinda, Phagwara, Ferozepore and Kotkapura as CDTs. He said these 13 towns were in the category A, meaning very sensitive and the remaining four in the category B, that is sensitive CDTs.

He said buildings for setting up control rooms in six new CDTs have been selected and they were now awaiting the release of budgetary allocation to make these operational.

He further informed that the number of Home Guard volunteers in Punjab has now declined to 14,000 from the peak of 26,000 in 1992 because recruitment has been stopped in view of normalcy prevailing in the state now.

The Home Guards Department has an annual budget of Rs 40 crore and each volunteer is paid Rs 70 a day, he added.

He said Home Guards were meant for civil defence duties, but were sent to assist police on law and order duty as and when required.

Mr Bhullar said since fresh recruitments had stopped, training programme, too, was in limbo. However, the department had been regularly organising Civil Defence Training Camps to train volunteers for civilian duties.
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YC protest against power tariff hike
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Youth Congress and Congress activists, led by the District Youth Congress chief, Mr Parminder Mehta, and the party legislator, Mr Rakesh Pandey, took out a procession, carrying candles and lanterns in the city last evening to voice their protest against massive hike in power tariff.

The procession started from the District Congress Committee (DCC) office and marched through Clock Tower Chowk and Mata Rani Chowk on G.T. Road before reaching the 66 kv substation of Punjab State Electricity Board near Old Sabzi Mandi, where a rally was organised.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mehta lambasted the SAD(B)-BJP government for the repeated hikes in power rates. He said as a result of the populist measure of the ruling combine to provide free power supply to farm sector, the PSEB was suffering an annual loss of around Rs 1900 crore, which the government intended to make up from trade, industry and domestic consumers.

The DYC president lamented that applications for load extension were delayed and the consumers were made to go from pillar to post to obtain no-objection certificates (NOCs) from local bodies and pollution control board, which in turn bred corruption at all levels.
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Staff misuse alleged
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Are the recurring faults in the telephone services in the city due to the shortage of staff, heavy traffic or because of posting of non-specialised staff at certain exchanges?

While paucity of staff and over-loading of exchanges are major reasons for erratic telephone services, it has now come to light that DoT had reportedly appointed some of one staff members who specially trained for the exchanges imported from France and Japan at ‘lucrative’ posts in rural areas, whereas they should have been doing duty at the exchanges.

According to sources, instead of the specialised staff which was given training in foreign countries for running the imported exchanges, inexpert people were manning some of these exchanges in the city.

Apart from regular faults caused by the alleged inexpert handling of the exchanges, DoT, in this process, also suffers a loss in the form of expenditure incurred on these employees for their training in foreign countries.
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Vanamahotsava organised
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The department of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana organised the 51st Van Mahotsav function at the Government High School, Rampur, district Ludhiana. It was attended by members of village panchayat, heads and teachers of adjoining schools and students. Mrs Gurdip Kaur, Deputy District Education Officer, Ludhiana, appreciated the efforts of the department in channelising the energies of the rural youth and contributing to their allround personality development.

She said that organisation of Van Mahautsav functions is one way of bringing together villagers, teachers and students nearer to nature. Dr Gurdev Singh Momi, Professor and Head, Department of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana in his presidential remarks, asked rural youth to appreciate dignity of labour and get involved in physical work. He motivated rural youth to join this programe.

Dr G.S. Saini, Professor of Extension Education and Coordinator of Rural Youth Programme, asked the youth to fight against social evils. He advised every student to plant at least one sapling at his/her birthday.
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Free legal aid service scheme for poor
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — To provide free legal services to litigants belonging to weaker sections, under the free legal aid service scheme of the government, a panel of reputed lawyers would soon be formed.

This decision was taken at a meeting of District Legal Service Authority, held under the chairmanship of Mr S.S. Arora, District and Sessions Judge and Chairman of the authority here today. Giving details, Mr Arora said that a special campaign would be launched to create awareness among masses regarding the facility.

He said tehsil and block level meetings and seminars of panches, sarpanches and other public representatives would be organised, which would be addressed by members of the legal service authority, police officers and lawyers.

He further said that the litigants would be persuaded to take their cases to the Lok Adalats, with a view to get these settled by mutual consent. He further informed that a special Lok Adalat would be organised on November 6 in which cases related to the Municipal Corporation would also be settled.

Mr Arora said that another quarterly Lok Adalat would be organised on November 18, in which all kinds of criminal, civil, matrimonial related and accidental cases would be settled by mutual consent. In the meeting, 43 cases relating to free legal aid service were decided.
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Accused in loan cases arrested
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — The Economics Offences Wing has succeeded in arresting one of the prime accused in the case relating to securing loans worth lakhs of rupees from several financial institutions after furnishing fake income tax returns, registries and other documents.

In an official press note, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said Kishan Lal, was arrested by a special team led by the DSP, Satish Malhotra, and the ASI, Shamsher Singh. He, along with his brother, Bhagwan Das, had been booked by the police under Sections 465, 467, 468, 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Mr B.K. Mehta, Manager of the LIC Housing Finance.
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Neglected Khamano

In 1992, when Fatehgarh Sahib was made a district and Khamano a subdivision, the residents of Khamano hoped for all-round development of this town. But this remained a dream and even after eight years, the town continues to lack basic amenities. There is no bus stand, no public library nor a community centre in the town. The roads are in a state of disrepair. The Nagar Panchayat has failed to provide an efficient drainage system.

No site has been earmarked for building administrative offices. It is difficult to meet any official after 5 p.m. as there is no residential facility for them in the town and they come from outside. The government has also not appointed a chairman of the Market Committee.

Khamano has a population of about 10,000, but people are deprived of even basic health services. The mini subsidiary health centre has proved inadequate. No doctor is available at the centre in the afternoon. People remain at the mercy of quacks who fleece them and are not able to provide satisfactory health care. The Drug Inspector has failed to check the sale of intoxicants.

J. S. Thind
Khamano

Felicitations
I convey to The Tribune my felicitations on its entering the 120th year of its life which is a living tribute to the memory of its founder. The nation is grateful to Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia for starting a periodical which has now grown into a family of three. The paper which was started as a ‘weekly’, by printing a few hundred copies of its inaugural issue, has now exceeded a daily circulation of two lakh, and enjoys the stature of a national daily. It is known for its independent views, neutrality and moderation. It champions all humanitarian causes and enjoys a large measure of popularity. It is attached neither to any political party nor is owned by any industrial house or individual. It is run by a trust. It stands exclusively for the promotion of national interests. It shows the right path both to the government and the people. Our country needs more newspapers of this kind.

YASH PAL GHAI
Ludhiana

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