Wednesday, October 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police closes in on Satyam Info
Hosting of porn site
By Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — One of the major players in the Indian IT world, Satyam Infoways, finds itself embroiled in the controversy over a local netizen creating a website,, that cast aspersions over the lifestyles of the wards of some top guns in the megacity.

It is learnt that instructions have been given to the Station House Officer of the police station division No. 5, Inspector Santokh Singh, to involve the said company into the case that has now snowballed into a major embarrassment for the police- which had so far been unable to act on the complaint submitted by at least six persons almost a week ago.

However, the police has not registered any FIR into the case so far. It may be noted that Deputy Commissioner S. K. Sandhu had asked the police to register a case immediately, a fact that he reiterated to TNS here today.

Due to lack of knowledge about the Information Technology Act as well as the alleged lack of cooperation by the Internet Service Provider( ISP), Satyam Infoways, in helping the police track down the creator of the website, the police was finding it difficult to proceed in any direction. A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, had alleged that though the police had approached the company in order to get the address of the creator, the officials here had shoved off any responsibility and said that the address could be obtained only from the Chennai office.

The police, too, had been doing a tight rope walk over the issue keeping in view that the site was thought to have been created by a teenager and the fact that a lot of high-profile people as well as their wards had been involved. It may be noted that five of the original complainants had also expressed their suspicions against one of the complainant that he was the main accused. But the police had decided to choose a wait and watch approach and had decided against summoning him for questioning, as this person is also the son of a well-known businessman in the city.

Meanwhile, allegations about black-mailing of certain people whose names had appeared in the different webpages in the website have also begun doing the rounds. It is alleged that the creator of the website had sent messages to those people who had been voted for under the various derogatory categories, through the ICQ chatline about paying up. Since the messages are alleged to have been sent through the ICQ chatline, the identity of the accused remained a mystery.

The guessing games are also aplenty about who could have been the creator of this site. One thing that most people who have been defamed through this site, agree to is that it was a handiwork of some amateur. They feel that this could precisely be the reason that the site was withdrawn after a lot of media hype was created. They also lament that now it would be very difficult to find out about the main accused- considering the fact that the accused could have changed/ modified the booth or created an altogether different booth.

It is also believed that if the website was launched from a cyber cafe, it would be impossible to nail the accused as a lot of people visit the cafe each day.

It is being alleged that one teenager, a student of Class XI, who has been named in almost all derogatory categories in this website, had proudly proclaimed that he would launch a website on the youngsters of Ludhiana almost two months back. A lot of people are now suspecting him of being the main accused considering the fact, that, too, started as a fun site about the best looking males and females in the megacity.

The boy in question, however, maintains that he is not the culprit and says that he has himself checked out with a few other people who had launched similar websites about the youngsters of Ludhiana. "We had gone to all people we suspected and checked the history of the last websites operated by these people.

One person who had created three sites about the youngsters of the megacity like 'groupthehotties' and was widely suspected to be behind freevotes, was also checked by us, but we found him to be innocent. In fact, he then withdrew all the websites that he had himself launched."Back


Amarinder confident of retaining PCC presidentship
Tribune News Service

JAGRAON, Oct 10 — Notwithstanding the defeat in the Sunam assembly byelection, the Pradesh Congress Committee President, Capt Amarinder Singh, appears to be confident about retaining his job in the organisational elections scheduled for next month.

Talking to TNS after addressing a protest dharna here today, the PCC President claimed that he had a strong balance sheet to his credit for seeking another term. Of the 62,700 active members registered in the state, he had the support of over 58,000, he added.

Listing his achievements, he claimed that when he took over, the Congress had almost been wiped out from the state. He pointed out that the party had no MPs from the state at the time he took over. “It was during my term that the number of MPs rose to nine. We lost in two seats by a slim margin”, he claimed, adding that the party performed “remarkably well” in the elections to local bodies.

Rejecting the argument that the Sunam assembly byelection result, in which the Congress lost the seat to ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, would have an adverse impact on his prospects for a second term, the PCC President alleged that the results were manipulated. This was being well understood by the party workers as well as the leadership. He claimed that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) gave an edge to the ruling party as the EVMs were lying in the custody of the state government. The Captain claimed that he had proof that the results were manipulated and he had conveyed his apprehensions to the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr M.S. Gill, much in advance.

The PCC President sought to underplay the dissension within his party in the state. Trying to evade a direct reply to the question that if such were the case, why the election to the post of PCC President could not be unanimous, he said the Congress was a democratic party and leaders were elected.

He argued that if Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, his rival and a potential candidate for the PCC presidentship, was contesting for the job, it was his democratic right. It should not be termed as dissension. He pointed out that Rajesh Pilot had contested for the membership of the Congress Working Committee, although the high command had not approved of it. He said, it would not be the high command, but the party workers who would elect the PCC president.

Capt Amarinder Singh denied the charge that fake membership forms were being filled by his supporters. He declared that even if one of the membership forms filled by any of his supporters was found having any discrepancy, he would instantly quit the PCC presidentship and not stake a fresh claim. 


Re-appear students seek grace marks
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — Resentment prevails among MA first year students of Panjab University who appeared for partial re-appear of the examination this year. The students allege that they were not given sufficient time to prepare for the examination, hence, they should be awarded grace marks.

According the university rules, the candidates are allowed to submit their examination forms for re-appear within a period of one month from the date of the declaration of their results or within a period of 15 days from the date of the despatch of the detailed marks cards to them, which ever is later.

However, the results of the MA (I) Punjabi was declared on September 4 and that of history was declared on September 5 as per the gazette. The students here could get the results on September 11 when it was declared at Panjab University Extension Library. Thus, even going by the gazette dates, students could fill the forms for the re-appear examination till October 3 and October 4 for Punjabi and history, respectively, as per the rule. But the partial re-appear examination for the first paper of history and Punjabi was held on September 27 which was even before the last date of filling the forms. Moreover, the detailed marks of MA (I) have not been received in most of the colleges here till date.

On September 25, the students requested the Vice Chancellor in writing that their examination be postponed as they could not get sufficient time to prepare. However, the examination was held on the same date.

Since the students could get very less time to prepare for the test, some of the students have now sent applications to the Vice-Chancellor requesting him to award them grace marks. These include MA (I) Punjabi students from Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, here who have asked for at least 30 grace marks in the first paper.

The same application has also been sent to the registrar and the controller of examination. Senate members recently elected from the city have also received a copy of the application. These include Principal Harmeet Kaur from Ramgarhia College for Women, Principal B.D. Budhiraja of SD Kamla Lohtia College, Principal Tarsem Bahia of AS College, Khanna, Principal J. S. Gill of Guru Nanak College, Doraha, and Mr Satish Sharma from the lecturers’ constituency at Arya College for Boys.

Principal Bahia, when contacted, said: “I have just received the application but I have not thoroughly gone through the case. I will look into the matter and see all that can be done.”


Kidnapping turns out to be elopement
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — That love is all powerful and can force one to revolt against one's family is evident in the case of elopement of two adults.

The couple has returned to the city. The girl's family had alleged that she had been kidnapped by the boy. After being separated upon their return, the couple swore their love for each other and the girl maintained that she had gone on her own free will.

Mahesh Kumar, a shoemaker by profession, is a married man and had a two-year-old child. He fell in love with his sister-in-law's sister. The couple had been going out for almost 15 months now.

The couple, while talking to TNS after their arrest, also claimed that they had a physical relationship and that the girl had recently become pregnant. She was made to undergo an abortion by her family at a local hospital.

The couple maintained that they were under a lot of pressure by their families to part ways, but could not do so. Elder sisters of the girl are married in the boy's family. It was then that the couple decided to elope.

Informs Mahesh, " I was under a lot of pressure to stop the relationship. So on September 6, I decided to leave Ludhiana for Mumbai. Once there, the girl called me up and said she would end her life if I did not call her over. I came back here and took her along with me to Mumbai. Without my knowledge, she brought around Rs 1.6 lakh that her family had kept aside for her marriage. We stayed in hotels in Mumbai and Goa. Later my family advertised in a few newspapers about my being missing and the girl's family had also got a case of kidnapping registered against me. So we decided to return."

The girl had a similar story to tell. She said had it not been for Mahesh, who was tired of running around, she would have preferred to stay back. She clarified that she was 20 years of age and not 17-and-a-half, as claimed by her family in the FIR registered under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC. "Fate has been cruel to us and we have been separated. I wish that my family does not get him booked under frivolous charges," she said.


‘Shopping mall culture alien to India’
By A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — The Indian consumer market may have expanded rapidly in recent years but it is still quite far off from the "shopping mall culture" which pervades the West as also some of the countries of the East and West Asia.

According to Mr Birinder Singh Narula, British NRI, who, as the owner of the Ebony chain of departmental stores, has been watching the consumer scene quite closely, the Indian consumers are not yet very comfortable with even departmental stores because of the general impression that they are expensive. "They feel that a departmental store has an expensive look and large overheads which are bound to be passed on the customers by marking up prices on items on sale there", says Mr Narula, adding that "this impression is absolutely ill-founded.

"The fact of the matter is that through sheer economy of scale and volume, we are able to reduce our overhead costs. We have absolutely no dead stocks because we will stock what sells in the market. Therefore, in many cases, you may find that that what you can get in a departmental store is cheaper than what you can buy outside in the general market."

As regards the shopping mall, it requires quite a large investment. "In India, it is still a sellers' market as far as the property is concerned. In the USA or the West, you can expand as much as you want because plenty of space is available at all major cities at reasonable rates. There a large and reputed chain may be offered land free of cost by the developer because it will add to the value and prestige to his property. You cannot imagine anyone doing it here in India. The concept here is quite different from what pervades in the West", he points out.

Mr Narula, who already has a chain of four Ebony stores, including two in New Delhi, one in NOIDA and one in Chandigarh, adds the fifth departmental store at Ludhiana tomorrow. It is expected to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He plans to take the total to 15 stores by the end of the next year by opening new outlets at Calcutta, Chennai, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad and a few more places.

The turnover is expected to rise from Rs 22 crore to Rs 50 crore during the same period.

Hailing from West Punjab, Mr Narula's family migrated to Delhi after the partition of the country. He went to West Asia 25 years ago before shifting to the UK. He has business interests in the UK as well as the USA besides India. "The first thing that strikes you when you go abroad is their large and grand departmental stores. This is what I have always wanted to establish in India. I am glad that I am well on my way to fulfilling my dream of setting up a chain of quality departmental stores in all major cities of India", he says.

Ebony started its operations in India in 1994 with the objective of providing a "truly international shopping experience to the Indian customers".

It started in October in the same year with over 20,000 square feet of retail shopping area. The store offered consumers in Delhi an opportunity to shop for a wide range of products under one roof in a comfortable luxurious ambience.


DC warns staff of procurement agencies
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — With a view to speeding up the procurement and lifting of paddy in the mandis Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, senior vice-president and chairman of Disciplinary Action Committee of SAD, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu along with the district heads of all government procurement agencies and departments concerned visited over 15 mandis in the Mullanpur and Raikot areas of the district on Monday.

In Mandi Mullanpur, farmers complained about the slow speed of procurement, causing much harassment and delay to the farmers. The Deputy Commissioner directed all agencies to purchase the paddy, lying in the mandis within two days. The farmers were told that state government was making all out efforts to protect their interests and were asked to co-operate with the staff of the procurement agencies, in case, they wanted swift purchase of their produce.

The Deputy Commissioner warned the procurement staff of stern action, in cases of unnecessary harassment to the farmers and other irregularities. He said he had received some complaints about filling the bags with low quality paddy by some commission agents, and in certain cases the paddy had been returned by the shellers. He warned that licences of such arhtias would be cancelled immediately.

Mr Sandhu informed that at Mullanpur mandi alone, 1.24 lakh quintals of paddy had been purchased, whereas, last year the total purchase was 4.50 lakh quintals. In Sudhar mandi, the purchase till last evening was 43210 lakh quintals. Expressing satisfaction over the pace of paddy procurement, he asserted that the procurement process would further pick up in the next two or three days. He told farmers to immediately contact the District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC) or other senior district officials, to report instances of harassment or corrupt practices by the staff of the procurement agencies.

He said in all 4.15 lakh tonnes of paddy had been procured in different mandis of the district till last evening, out of which 3.94 lakh tonnes was purchased by government agencies, and the traders had purchased 91,000 tonnes.

After listening to the complaints at Sudhar, Mr Talwandi asked officials to immediately purchase and lift the paddy which conformed to the specifications and ensure reasonable price for the remaining produce from the traders and millers.

The Deputy Commissioner, accompanied by Mr Talwandi also visited mandis and purchase centres at Halwara, Talwandi Rai, Kamalpura, Lamey, Manuke, Lakha, Hathoor, Chakker, Jhorran, Nathhowal, Bassian and Raikot.



Divali may still be a couple of weeks away, but candle illuminations at night have become the order of the day in Ludhiana. Illumination at night is not entirely attributable to the Divali spirit. A part of the illumination is due to the superstitious beliefs some people have even in this modern age: they want to ward off evil spirits at an auspicious occasion .

The story behind this is not too old. It goes back to a village near Jalandhar, where an old man reportedly became alive on way to the cremation ground. He was earlier presumed dead and was being taken for the last rites. However, before his pyre could be lit, he reportedly woke up and narrated a strange tale, which was readily accepted by the people.

The oldman reportedly told his relatives and neighbours that when he died, the Yamraj said, he was constructing a house for himself. Since the house was too big and needed considerable labour he refused to accept the old man there, as he could not work for his house. Instead he ordered that he needed youngmen only.

The matter was reportedly related to a ubiquitous sadhu, who offered readymade solution. He asked the people to ensure that the youth in their families stayed alive, they should light at least five candles per young man for his welfare and well being. While in the particular village, the old man’s narrative was followed strictly, the fear spread instantly in the cities like Jalandhar and the adjoining areas. As it was covered by some vernaculars, residents of Ludhiana preferred not want to risk their youngmen, as five candles did not cost too much. Footnote. Who knows the elderly man who scripted this tale was a candle dealer!

What’s in, what’s out

In the ever changing world of fashion, cotton is out. It is no longer the favourite natural fabric with the customers. The trend is now towards polyster woven fabrics imported from abroad.

“The new trend towards artificial fibre is because of the feel of the new fabric”, says Mr Anish Dhawan, one of the leading hosiery manufacturers of Ludhiana and a keen observer of the fashion scene in the city. The new polyster fibers are so soft and lightweight that the customers no longer bother about the minor discomfort which the wearer of polyster fabric may face because of the fact that it is not “airbreathing” and, therefore, may cause the skin to warm up, sweat profusely and, sometimes, result in a rash on the skin.

This is more than offset by the fact that the problems of fading, shrinking, deshaping present in cotton fabrics are absent in the polyster. The colours are brilliant, the fabric is long lasting and there is no shrinkage. Fashions generally originate from the West which are immediately copied elsewhere. Since the polyster fabrics are now a rage in most of the West, it was but natural that the trend would catch on here too. Nobody is bothered about the fact that the polyster fabrics which might be okay in the West because of the cold climate, could be found wanting here because of the warm weather.

Mr Dhawan said polyster fabrics worth crores of rupees imported from Japan, Korea and Taiwan brought in by hosiery manufacturers of Ludhiana was now lying dumped in the ports of Mumbai and Calcutta because of a sudden increase in the import duty by the government of India. The step has been taken to afford some protection to the domestic industry against the foreign fabrics but it has created a piquant situation for the hosiery manufacturers of Ludhiana who had imported large quantities of fabrics in the belief that the import duty would not exceed 45 per cent but has now been raised to 300 per cent.

Models disappoint

The recent daandiya raas performed by Ria Sen and John Abraham at Magnet Resorts was a disappointment for the audience. Favourite models of the audience appeared on the stage just for 20 minutes. When the atmosphere started warming up, it was the time for models to pack up and leave the stage.

The worst part was when a couple especially dressed for the occasion entered the venue to dance with their favourite models and asked someone, “When is the programme going to commence? When are Ria and Abraham expected to join the daandiya ?” They felt very bad when they learnt that the programme was already over and the models had left the stage.

Before leaving the venue, John and Ria promised the audience that they would soon be back to join them on the dance floor. The audience kept waiting for them. To save themselves from the boredom, many persons started dancing to the accompaniment of the songs belted out by the DJ. Some were seen baby sitting on the grass itself as there was no seating arrangement.

A guest asked one of the organisers, “Will the models come again? I want to dance with them. Mera number kab ayega....?”

Pat came the reply, “Not now...These people come for guest appearance only. Now you should enjoy the daandiya yourself. They are not going to come again”.

Lord’s favourite

One of the most beautiful sights in the world is when the male peacock, spreads his full plumage and dances in its full glory. His rich plumage of different colours of bluish green, turquoise, and shades of all sorts of green colour leave the audience gasping at the beauty and richness of feathers of the peacock.

Peacock’s feather is of great religious significance as Lord Krishna is seen sporting the ‘mor pankh’ on his head. When we see the feather, the image of naughty, mischievous, lovable Kanha springs before our eyes. 

These days beautiful jewellery is being made by using the peacock feathers. This jewellery intensifies the beauty of the dress and, imagine, the ‘morpankhs’ are being stitched on some nice slinky dresses too. Some of them are interwoven in a very artistic manner and are being used as head gears too by fashion models these days.

Some people use a bunch of these feathers to enhance the beauty their living room. The fans made of morpankh are being exported these days as foreigners fall in love with them.


Here is another nugget of highway poetry seen written on the back of a truck on the G.T.Road:

Chalti hai gari, udti hai dhool, jalti hai duniya, khilte hai phool.
— Sentinel


Excellent coverage of medical topics

The coverage to the various topics related to the medical community has been extraordinary in Ludhiana Tribune. Since the various controversies erupted regarding the medical profession, your paper has shown an ethical path to the public as well as the medical community.

The recent coverage on ’Luring people with male child bait’ and the defence of the medical community by a local doctor have given guidance to the public. Earlier, your coverage on advertisements by medicos was excellent.

I request you to publish such articles in The Tribune as well, because this menace is not confined to Ludhiana only.

Other activities like coverage of historical events has again been extraordinary. The residents of Ludhiana did not know much about the history of the city and surrounding areas. In a very short span of time, this pullout on Ludhiana has become a favourite for all those who want to remain in touch with the daily activities of the city.

On behalf of my organisation, I congratulate you on this and wish you a very successful future. We are ready to extend any type of support for the betterment of humanity through your esteemed columns.
Dr Gursharan Singh

Women robbers

The Kamla Nehru Market near Jagraon Bridge in Ludhiana is the wholesale/retail market for tractor and auto parts. Dealers from all over the state visit this market and huge business is transacted daily. They come with cash to purchase the goods as per their requirements.

It has come to our notice that women with small children in their laps belonging to the lower strata (Sansi and tribal women) keep on roaming in front of and nearby this market and watch the customers coming with money in their bags. They fleece the customers by one way or the other and sometimes sit in the three-wheelers carrying such customers. They snatch the money bag or cut the pockets of the customers.

We request you to get one or two constables deployed in the market during the day time to avoid such incidents.
Kanwar Jit Singh



KVKs a boon for farmers
By Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — Krishi Vigyan Kendras are district-level farm science centres which have been established in the length and breadth of the country by ICAR, for speedy transfer of technology to the farmers’ fields. 

The main objective of the KVK’s is to increase productivity on a sustainable basis and create opportunities for greater economic activities in agriculture and allied sciences, such as veterinary science, home science, agricultural engineering.

Apart from identifying the technological needs of the farming community, the KVKs’ endeavour is to meet their needs through multifarious means such as organisation of training programmes, demonstrations, technical assessment and agricultural exhibitions, publications of simple technical literature in local languages etc. According to information gathered from reliable sources in ICAR, the entire country is divided into 8 zones for the purpose of disseminating technical knowledge to farmers through the KVKs. ICAR set up its first KVK in Pondicherry in 1976. 

In northern India, however, the first KVK was set up at Gurdaspur under the administrative control of PAU in 1982. Subsequently, a KVK was established in Rewari in Haryana, a year or 2 later. In all, ICAR has set up KVKs in 261 districts of the country. It eventually plans to set up at least one KVK in each one of the 500 districts of India. According to Dr A.K. Mehta, Zonal Coordinator, zone I of ICAR, who is supervising the work of 36 KVKs in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, J&K, the KVKs have contributed significantly to the economic property of the farmers of the area.

Dr Mehta has also disclosed that the Trainees Training Centre at the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, provides specialised training to the scientists of the agricultural universities and NGOs in the fields of dairy technology and animal husbandry. Talking about the training courses organised by the KVKs, Dr Mehta disclosed that the KVKs conducted more than 1800 training courses for farmers, and this has benefited over 39,000 participants. 

The training courses were chiefly conducted in crop productivity, horticulture, plant protection, animal science, home science and others. In addition to the training programme, Dr Mehta informed that 270 vocational training courses were organised to benefit the rural youth. 

These courses were devoted to income generating activities like bee-keeping, mushroom cultivation, dairying, poultry and fish farming etc.In addition, Dr. Mehta disclosed courses have been organised for training farmers in such areas as integrated pest management, integrated nutrient supply, control of insects, pests & weeds and care of animals. To accelerate the process of technology transfer, Dr. Mehta disclosed, that a large number of extension activities were organised by KVKs in the form of kisan melas, exhibitions, field days, and film shows.


PAU experts’ advice on rabi crops
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — Experts of Punjab Agricultural University(PAU) have given some important hints to the farmers for getting maximum yields from the rabi crops which are to be sown in October/November.

Dr J. S. Kolar, Director of Extension Education, has stressed the need to increase the area under the PBW-343 variety of wheat which has been recommended for early sowing. This variety has been recommended for sowing from end of October to mid-November in irrigated areas of Punjab. Early sowing of this variety helps in smothering gullidanda. This variety is resistant to lodging and yields about 22.5 quintals per acre.

He has also advised that all crops should be sown at the recommended time. Delayed showing results in lower yields and crops are more prone to attacks by insect, pests and diseases.

In wheat, crown root initiation, tillering stage and the grain filling stages are more crucial for providing irrigation.

He said that in the problem areas where gullidanda is not controlled by the spray of Isoproturon for the last 2-3 years, it is suggested that the alternate herbicides like Puma-Super/Topic/Leader should be used. The infestation of weeds, particularly gullidanda/sitti in wheat can be reduced by early sowing (last week of October).


Youth crushed under train
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, Oct 10 — A youngman of 27 was crushed under Shatabdi Express near Sahnewal yesterday.

Tinku, who was travelling in the Summer Express (Jammu Tawi) coming from Delhi to Ludhiana, got down from the train when it stopped at Sahnewal due to some problem on the track near the dry port, Dhandari Kalan. In the meantime the Shatabdi Express coming from Ludhiana crushed the boy.

It is reported that Tinku was married on September 28 and was going to bring his bride from Ludhiana.


Govt pensioners seek old-age allowance
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — The Government Pensioners’ Association has demanded the immediate implementation of the old-age allowance at the age of 65.

A memorandum was sent today to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, regarding the non-implementation of the old-age allowance. Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary of the association said that a number of benefits like higher exemption limit in income tax, concession in railway fare, no registration fee for getting telephone connection and old-age allowance were allowed to the senior citizens at the age of 65.

Mr Ghai said the fourth Punjab Pay Commission had also submitted its report pertaining to pensioners to the state government on February 20, 1998, recommended the benefit of old age allowance for the pensioners at the age of 65 and 75 years. He informed that this benefit was not allowed to them at the age of 70 and 80 years.

Mr Ghai stated over two years had passed since the report was submitted. He alleged that the Badal government was dilly-dallying in implementing the recommendations. They urged that the old-age allowance at age of 65 and 75 years as per recommendations should be granted immediately.


Shiv Sena assists 51 widows
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — The Shiv Sena extended assistance in cash and kind to 51 widows in a function organised in Mahavir Mandir in Gur Mandi here. The Shiv Sena chief, Mr Jagdish Tangri, who presided over the occasion made an appeal to the trading community to earmark some part of their earnings for the poor, the destitute and the widows. He said feeding the hungry and coming to the rescue of the helpless was the noblest of all causes. The Gur Mandi Union president, Mr Sunil Tangri, while inaugurating the function observed that extending help in any manner to the under-privileged and the ‘have-nots’ was a real service to humankind. Mr Mohan Lal Gupta, Mr Yash Pal Jain, Mr V.K.Katna, Mr Darshan Lal Miglani, Mr Amrit Lal Verma, Mr Kamlesh Bhardwaj and Mr Sain Das Passi were prominent among those honoured at this occasion for making liberal donations for this purpose.


Bachitar Singh is DEO (Sec)
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — Mr Bachitar Singh, former Deputy District Education Officer, has been appointed the DEO (Secondary) here. The former DEO, Mrs Usha Sidhu, has been transferred to Chandigarh.Back



Haibowal Kalan to have metalled roads
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 —The councillor of ward No 1, Bibi Manjit Kaur, has inaugurated a new project dealing with the construction of metalled roads at Haibowal Kalan. The councillor informed that more than Rs 10 lakh would be spent on the project which would take about three months for completion. The contractor, Mr Naresh Kumar, appealed to the residents to give co-operation for the completion of the project. In case of any problem, the residents were welcome to contact either the contractor or the councillor. 


Industry criticises petrol price hike
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr O.P. Jindal, president of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India and president of the Focal Point Association, Ludhiana, respectively, have criticised the hefty hike of petroleum products. They said the proposed oil price hike will have an inflationary effect on the entire economy, particularly in the industrial sector a and on the common man in general.

They said the oil price hike would have a two-pronged impact on industry. It would push production cost up and consequently product cost would go up by 1 to 5 per cent in various industrial sectors. It would also dampen demand in some segments as there were no takers for the finished products and the input cost and other costs would go up further.

They added that industrial production had come down to 5.4 per cent and the industrial growth would go down further with this proposed hike of petroleum products.

Mr Joginder Kumar further stated that differential rate of sales tax of

petroleum products, ranging from 22 to 30 per cent, had further aggravated the situation, resulting in the hike of petroleum products which was beyond the reach of the common man. The government proposed Rs 24,000 crore deficit as on March 31, on the basis of the international price of crude oil above $ 30 per barrel. The analysts expected the crude oil price to settle in the range of $ 26 to 28 per barrel and the deficit would correspondingly decrease. The government was expected to earn Rs 15,000 crore by way of extra revenue from levy of custom and excise duties. The duty rates needed to be suitably restructured to return this money to the oil pool account.

He urged the Prime Minister to the roll back the proposed hike of petroleum products in view of the sluggish demand and the far-reaching impact on industry at this critical juncture.


Container freight station commissioned
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 10 — The opening of a new container freight station (CFS) in Ludhiana will go a long way to help importers and exporters of the region. It would handle the import and export of cargo and would provide a single window service to the traders as containers stuffed here would be loaded on the railway wagon simultaneously. Incidentally, the inland container depot also has a railway station. The time of loading and unloading will be saved to a great extent. 

These remarks were made by Mr S.K. Sharma, Managing Director, Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR). He was presiding over the function held here today to inaugurate a new container freight station. The station had been opened up with an investment of about Rs 5 crore, said Mr N.L. Manjoka, Chief Manager of the corporation. Till now, CONCOR had been handling containers and was only a transit facility. However, now industrialists and traders would be able to send and receive the cargo in an easier and cheaper way. 

The newly constructed CFS has a ware house in an area of 3000 sq. metres. It can handle 118 containers at a time. It has two full rake sidings along with examination facility at the terminal itself, hence avoiding en-route detachments. Mr Manjoka informed that CONCOR had introduced high-speed rakes that could run at a speed of 100-105 km per hour and reach Mumbai port within 48 hours, thereby reducing the transit time from five days to two days. 

With the starting of CFS, the overall transit time of shipper would be further reduced by one day. Inaugurating the freight station, Mr K.L. Verma, Member (Customs), Central Board of Excise and Customs, said: “In the changed scenario of global competition and increasing imports and exports the corporation would have to work in a transparent and efficient manner.” Regarding the massive tax evasion of customs and excise duty by yarn manufacturers through underbilling and underpricing of imports of waste fibre, he said, “Our department is aware about it. 

But we cannot do anything unless complaints are filed with adequate proof. No doubt action has been taken against corrupt officials, including some who were working in Ludhiana.” But he categorically declined to give further details. Mr Someshwar, Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Delhi zone, disclosed that the department was going to observe a ‘vigilance awareness week’ from October 31 to November 5. 

During this period efforts would be made to generate awareness among the tax officials to ensure hassle-free and corruption-free service to the industry and trade. He said we the corporation was trying to create a system, even beyond the directions of CVS that members of industry could lodge complaints against any corrupt official, and action would be taken against such officials. 

However, he declined to give any specific information regarding the number of complaints, or action taken against the guilty officials in the Ludhiana region.

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