Friday, November 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Get encroachments removed, SDMs told
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — A special campaign to remove the encroachments along both sides of link roads in the district have been launched, under which SDMs of all subdivisions, have been directed to get vacated the land along the roads after proper demarcation by the Revenue Department, positively by the end of the this month.

This was disclosed by Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, in the sangat darshan programme held at mini secretariat here today, while dealing with a complaint lodged by people of Kot Umra village of Jagroan subdivision, regarding the removal of encroachments along road to Bhunderi village, which have been re-occupied by farmers, even after demarcation was done and the pillars fixed. The SDM, Jagroan, was directed to register the case against the guilty farmers, who had again forcibly ploughed the land, which was got vacated by the administration.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the officers of all departments concerned, including Mandi Board, PWD, development and panchayat and revenue to accord top priority to the removal of encroachments.

Taking up several other complaints, the deputy commissioner directed registration of a case under section 182 against Kulwant Singh of Vishwakarma Colony in the Jamalpur area, for filing a false affidavit against Inspectors of Municipal Corporation. The Joint Commissioner of Municipal Corporation Mr Harjinder Singh, who had conducted the inquiry on the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, had found that the complainant, had in fact, encroached upon the municipal corporation land, had put up a kiosk and given on rent. Various prominent persons of the locality had confirmed that Mr Kulwant Singh was in the habit of making complaints to justify his wrongdoings. A deputation of around two dozen persons from the area also turned up in sangat darshan program and testified against the complainant.

The XEN, pollution control board (PCB), who was deputed to inquire into the complaint of Mr Tarsem Singh Banga, regarding the setting up of an unauthorised industrial unit on the premises adjoining his house, which had caused cracks in the walls of his house, informed that the owner of the unit have been served with a 15 days notice to close the unit, which had also managed to get a power connection without the No Objection Certificate (NOC) of Pollution Control Board. Mr Sandhu directed the PCB authorities to take strict action against the owner of the unit, in case he failed to follow the orders served upon him.

On the complaint of a farmer of Jagroan subdivision on carrying out the mutation of his ancestral land without listening to him by tehsildar, Mr Sandhu asked for a report from the SDM Jagroan, who was present at the spot. As the SDM reported that the Tehsildar had erred in the matter, he was asked to initiate action against the Tehsildar at the earliest. The Jagroan police were directed to conduct a fresh inquiry into the complaint of Mrs Jagir Kaur of Butahri village, who had alleged that she was not listened to by the inquiry officer while making on the spot verification of complaint.

Disposing off another complaint of Mohmd Alahudin, a labourer, against the contractor for not making the balance payment of his work amounting to Rs 6000, the deputy commissioner directed the SSP to look in to the matter and get the complaint settled. An inquiry was marked to the concerned SDM on the alleged fraudulent sale of a piece of land owned by a farmer Jeet Singh.

In the sangat darshan 63 complaints were taken up, out of which 38 were settled and the concerned officers were asked to enquire in to the remaining complaints and submit their report by next week.

Among others present on this occasion were Mr S.R. Kaler, ADC (General), Mr Balwinder Singh ADC(D), Mr S.S. Sandhu SP, SDMs of all Sub Divisions and district heads of all departments.


Rape case: Nepalese flay police inaction
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Hundreds of Nepalese men and women living in the city today took to the streets in protest against the alleged inaction on part of the local police in arresting three accused in the gang rape of a Nepalese woman here recently.

The procession, organised by the All-India Nepalese Unity Society, converged at the Mini-Secretariat around 12.30 pm and the participants raised slogans against the police. They alleged discrimination against members of the Nepalese community and said that the police was deliberately delaying the arrest of the accused, even though all accused had been rounded up.

President of the society Malti Sharma and central committee member Mitar Prasad Sharma, who were leading the procession, said that the police was succumbing to pressure from the side of the accused, who was being helped by their employers. They said that they had sent letters to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, Punjab, the Inspector-General of Police, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, the Senior Superintendent of Police as well as the Deputy Commissioner, but no action has been taken.

A delegation of the society later gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and pleaded with him to direct the local police in arresting the accused. The 17-year-old victim was also present with them.

It may be noted that the victim was returning home with her husband in the evening after visiting the Dasehra mela on October 7 organised in Urban Estate near Jamalpur. The couple, who had arrived in the city only a month back, reportedly lost its way and reached near the Dry Port in Dhandari Kalan.

The couple came across three person— Rajesh, Ram Jatan and Bindeshwari — and sought their help. However, the three accused beat up Prem Bahadur and raped his wife. It was later that the matter was reported to the police and a case under Section 376, 343, 506 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the accused.

The police is now claiming that the case was false as the statements given by the victim and her husband varied.


Woman held for fraud, impersonation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9— The Economic Offences Wing of the district police have arrested a woman, Mrs Poonam Sharma, for impersonation and fraud while her accomplice, Krishan Lal, a property dealer of Haibowal area, is absconding.

According to the district police chief, Mr Kuldip Singh, the duo along with some others had managed to obtain a power of attorney in favour of Krishan Lal for a 166 square yards plot, owned by one Amarjit Kaur, a resident of Noorwala Road in the city. At the time of registration of the power of attorney, the accused had impersonated as the owner of the plot and had affixed her own photograph on the registered document.

The accused later sold the plot on the basis of a fabricated power of attorney to Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Phillaur, for Rs 1,60,000 and fled. The police further said the husband of the accused, Poonam, had died in 1985 and she was presently living in with the co-accused, Krishan Lal.

A case under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468 and 471, IPC has been registered and further investigation are in progress.


Focus on free legal aid
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — On the occasion of Legal Service Day, a district-level seminar to create awareness regarding the free legal service being provided by government was organised at the lawns of the District and Session Courts complex here today afternoon.

Addressing the seminar, District and Sessions Judge S S Arora said that the Legal Service Authority was set up by enacting a law by the government which entitled nearly 80 per cent of the population of free legal service facility. He said that generally the people were not availing the service because of social status and lack of awareness about the scheme

He informed that the in Punjab during then last one year about 1571 Lok Adalats were organised in which 1,27,332 cases were taken up. Out of these 85,619 were settled with mutual understandings involving the award money of Rs 123.5 crore. In Ludhiana 28319 applications were received for free legal aid out of which 25800 litigants were provided the aid.

Addressing the seminar, Mr S R Kaler, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said that the administration would extend full cooperation in organising the seminars at the subdivision and block levels about free legal facility.

Mr Harsish Dhanda, president, District Bar Association, said people had serious apprehensions about the success of the Lok Adalats but now these adalats had started delivering excellent results and long-pending cases were being settled permanently through mutual understanding.


LIC told to pay 1 lakh compensation
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — An aggrieved man finally gets an insurance claim of over Rs 1 lakh for the death of his son in 1997.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum today directed the Life Insurance Corporation of India's branch office and divisional office here to pay within a month of the receipt of the orders with due bonus (about Rs 20,000) and 12 per cent interest per annum from April 1999 to the actual date of payment to Mr Quimti Lal Chawla, a resident of Upkar Nagar Civil Lines here.

According to a copy of the orders issued here today, Mr Chawla pleaded that his son, Pankaj Chawla, got himself insured in February 1994. He nominated his father. The policy was for Rs 1 lakh and for the period of 20 years with yearly premium of Rs 6,249.

He said his son was medically examined and was found fit but in February 1997 he was admitted to the DMC hospital and was diagnosed as suffering from 'myxcidrma coma'. His son died after two days.

The LIC was intimated about the death in April the same year but instead of settling his claim, the company repudiated the claim in April next year on the grounds that the deceased was suffering from epilepsy and meningitis since his childhood and this fact was hidden from the company.

The complainant said the claim of the company was false and he was entitled for the insurance claim as well as compensation for deficient service.

In its reply the LIC maintained that the medical history of the deceased was investigated which established that the deceased had suppressed the material information about his health and thus the claim of the policy nominee was rightly repudiated.

The forum quoted an earlier order passed by the State Commission that medical history of the patient is no cogent evidence to prove that the patient was suffering from the disease. It ruled that simple history of the patient supplied by the company was not sufficient to prove that the deceased was suffering from a particular disease and the company has also failed to do so.


Huge consignment of liquor seized
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — The local police has seized 58,77000 mlts.( 653 packets and 7836 bottles) of country liquor during a joint raid conducted with the Municipal Corporation officials.

According to an official press release, it was informed that ASI Waryam Singh, in charge of the Basant Park police post had received secret information last night that a truck was carrying country liquor without a permit and the truck was parked near the octroi post at Gill Road. At that time, the police officer had been directed to hold a special naka in Pratap Chowk by Inspector Paramjit Singh, SHO police station division No. 6.

The police officer then contacted the officials of the municipal corporation and with Inspector Sukhdev Singh and Inspector Raj Mohinder Singh raided the place and the truck bearing registration number DL-1GA-3324 was found to be carrying orange brand country made liquor. However, the driver of the truck, Ramesh Kumar escaped. The police has registered a case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.Back


Brahmins object to Punjabi song 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Several social and religious organisations have taken strong exception to the wordings of a Punjabi song Brahmini glass vargi, which they said was “vulgar and offensive” to women. These organisations have demanded withdrawal of the cassette as it had created resentment among different sections of the society, particularly the women.

The song is carried in a cassette released by New Tarang Audio Cassette Company. The song has been written by Baljit Angara and sung by Bagga Safri and Surinder Sapna.

According to a handout issued by the Bhagwan Parshu Ram Brahmin Sabha, Ludhiana, the song has led to grave resentment among the Brahmins, particularly the women. It warned of serious consequneces in case the song was not withdrawn.

President of the sabha, Dr Krishen Rai Sharma, has appealed the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, to ban the cassette and take action against all the persons involved in the production of this cassette. He pointed out, it had hurt the feelings and sentiments of thousands of people.

Machhiwara: A separate meeting of the Brahmin Sabha was held here, which took serious exception to the song released by the New Tarang Audio Cassette Company. Lashing out at the producers of the cassette, the sabha described it as a most irresponsible act, which had denigrated women.

The sabha passed a resolution demanding legal action against the guilty. It urged the Punjab Government to ban the cassette immediately.


500 teachers apply under new CAS
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Over 500 teachers of Punjab Agricultural University, who have applied for placement and promotion under the new Career Advancement Scheme(CAS), which had been introduced retrospectively with effect from January 1, 1996, are eagerly waiting for the process of promotion to get underway.

It may be recalled that after the approval of the new CAS by the governing body in the meeting held on July 28, applications were invited from the eligible teachers for promotion / placement by September 25. The applications, after scrutiny by the Deans and Directors concerned, were required to be submitted to the office of the Registrar by October 10 for further essential action.

According to Mr Alok Shekhar, Registrar, 150 teachers have submitted applications for promotion as Professor/equivalent, while 141 teachers have applied for promotion as Associate Professor and equivalent. In addition,176 Assistant Professors have put in applications for placement in the senior scale. Besides, 34 teachers have applied for the selection grade.

Mr Shekhar has also disclosed that the applications are being scrutinized. After the scrutiny is over, committees for assessment of teachers will be constituted by the Vice Chancellor of the university. He has revealed that the assessment of teachers will take place strictly in accordance with the board of management on August 11.

The heads of all the departments, had been asked to send a panel of experts each, who may be nominated to the committee for the assessment of teachers, he said.


Nippy morning in city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — City residents woke up to a nippy morning today following a light drizzle last night that lasted nearly half an hour. Even as the sun rose over the city, there was a nip in the air, forcing citizens to wear shawls and other woollens outdoors. A slight north breeze blew over the city, accompanied by a south-west wind, making the weather nippy but pleasant. According to the meteorological department, dry weather is likely to persist in the days ahead.


Insurance firm told to pay compensation
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — After a wait of three years, an industrialist of the city has finally managed to win an insurance claim against United India Insurance Company Ltd here. Deciding the case, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the company to pay Rs 34,715 to the complainant on account of loss suffered by him due to floods in 1997.

The insurance firm has also been directed to pay an interest of 12 per cent per annum on amount of Rs 20,000 out of the claim of Rs 34,715 with effect from December 6, 1999, to the date of payment of the amount.

According to a copy of the orders, the complainant got insured his stocks from fire, flood and rains for Rs 8 lakh from October 1996 to October 1997. In July 1997 due to heavy rains the premises of his factory were flooded and paper worth Rs 2.74 lakh were damaged.

The company appointed a surveyor for assessing the loss. He visited the site many times but demanded gratification. The company also did not take any action on the complaint of the industrialist. It also did not inform him about the assessed loss.

Peeved at the delay, the complainant moved the forum in August 1998 demanding compensation. The company, however, replied that the claim could not be given as complainant had not supplied the requisite documents. Deciding the case in August 1999 the forum had directed the complainant to supply the documents within 15 days and also issued directions to the company to decide the case within three months.

The complainant then received a letter from the company asking him to sign the Claim Disbursement Voucher for Rs 14,715 as full and final payment. The complainant dissatisfied with the amount again approached the forum.

He contended that the company had not supplied a copy of the claim order to him. He claimed that the company was not interested in making the payment and demanded a compensation of Rs 2,74,725 on account of damages and another Rs 2 lakh as compensation along with interest of 24 per cent per annum.

The company in its reply defended the claim decided by it. It said it pays compensation amount according to the report of the surveyor, who assessed the loss for Rs 14,715 only.

The forum noted that in the case that the surveyor's report assessed the total loss at Rs 34,715 but had deducted Rs 20,000 as per fire policy being 2.5 per cent of the sum insured. However, the company did not placed on file the fire policy showing any such condition.

The forum found that there was no evidence of any such clause and even if it was there was not reasonable. It said that deduction can be made on the amount assessed and not on the total amount insured. In such circumstance Rs 20,000 were illegally deducted. The forum also said that the compensation demand of over Rs 2 lakh of the complainant was too much and the company was bound to pay only Rs 34,715.


Mini-Secretariat cries for care

The Mini-Secretariat of Ludhiana is in a pitiable state so far as the civic amenities are concerned.

Huge piles of refuge lie in every corner. Crumpled paper, polythene bags, dried leaves litter everywhere. A typist working there said she found the place not only uninspiring but also nauseating.

One of the deed writers said nearly 2,000 persons visited this section daily. Surprisingly, there is no arrangement for drinking water.

Toilets are locked and employees of the secretariat believed that if the toilets were kept open for the public the whole place started stinking as toilets were seldom cleaned. Though each employees paid Rs 20 per month to safai karamcharis but there is no accountability.

Last month employees had to shell out Rs 250 in order to remove a pig's carcass. During the rainy season, the place gets flooded. The employees complained that they had to wade through the muddy slush to reach the department.

The employees said that they requested the Nazir Department repeatedly in this regard. When officials of the department concerned were asked about it they refused to comment. — Minna Zutshi


High-handedness by MC staff alleged
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — It was a nightmarish experience for Paramjit Singh working as a driver for a local fruit and vegetable trader, at the hands of the officials of the Municipal Corporation Amritsar.

According to Mr Subash, Prarmjit’s employer, on November 6 at around 12 at night, when he reached with the tempo loaded with lemon, he was stopped by the MC officials at the octroi post. They allegedly demanded money from Paramjit, which he refused.

The MC officials asked him to pay the octroi fee. However, according to Subash, he was carrying only 19 quintals and 14 kgs of lemon, which made it exempt from the octroi fee. The Punjab government has exempted “fruits vegetables, milk fodder, fish meat, sugar cane for juice, eucalyptus and poplar wood from the payment of octroi when brought by any means of transport upto 20 quintals”.

Mr Subash said Paramjit also produced the original documents which certified that the load was only 19 quintals and 14 kg. Even the MC officials at Amritsar verified the load by weighing it themselves. Despite that they persisted with the demand for money.

After Paramjit resisted and entered into an argument, he was reportedly manhandled by the officials present, who outnumbered and outpowered him. He was also made to pay the heavy penalty.

Mr Subash produced all the documents, including the receipts issued by the MC officials. He also produced the documents certifying that the load on the tempo was less than 20 quintals.


New GM to focus on non-feasible areas
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Improvement in services, speedy redressal of the subscribers grievances and changing the non-feasible areas into feasible ones are on the top of the priority list of Mr V. S. Srivastava, the new General Manager of the Ludhiana District Telecom Circle of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today, Mr Srivastava announced that he would meet the public twice a day for first hand information about their complaints and would try to solve them at the earliest. For this purpose, the earmarked timings are 10 to 11.00 a.m and 3 to 4.00 p.m. on all working days.

The another priority area needing immediate attention was the problem of large number of non-feasibility areas in the city. Due to the declaration of the non-feasible areas, the department was drawing flak from residents as they had to wait too long for the approval of their telephone connection. The department had also lost a number of cases in the District Consumer Forum due to its failure to provide telephone connection in these areas.

Unfolding the policy for making the non-feasible areas as feasible, the GM said the department was working on two lines. One is to introduce wireless loop system telephone service in the area concerned and the other is to make the area feasible after arriving at an agreement for laying of the cables with the local Municipal Corporation.

He informed that by March next year the wireless loop service would become operational. Under this system a base station was being constructed in Transport Nagar. Telephone towers would be installed at Transport Nagar and Matarani Chowk for speedy connectivity of the calls. The department will provide 3000 lines out of which 2000 of these would be in Transport Nagar and remaining in Matarani Chowk.

The department has also finalised plans to instal a new telephone exchange at Dugri Road Phase Two. This part of the city had largest area as non-feasible. He informed that that cable laying scheme and the designs had been approved. The architecture plan of the exchange building had also been approved and work was expected to start by March next year.

He also informed that for non-feasible areas in the places like Sunder Nagar, Haibowal, Rahin Road and small patches in the old city, the department had managed to convince the MC about giving approval for digging purpose to lay the cables. He informed that the areas were termed non-feasible as the MC was not giving permission to lay the cables and secondly the charges were too high.

The GM also informed that in order to provide better services to the subscribers, he has issued directions to his subordinates for restoring the connection of a subscriber on the date of the payment of the bill or fine in case the pone was disconnected due to non-payment of any charges.

He said the department had already announced availability of telephone connection forms free of cost. It had also tied up with Syndicate Bank for depositing of telephone bills. He informed that the department was in consultation with UCO Bank and the Punjab and Sind Bank for a similar tie-up.


PAU bags prestigious agro-tech project
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has bagged the prestigious National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) on 'Weather based animal disease forecasts'. The department will act as co-operating centre under the Project Directorate on Animals Disease Monitoring and Surveillance, Bangalore, which will act as Lead Institution.

This project has been allotted to this department based on its rich past experience in animals disease monitoring and surveillance. A state government project, Animal Disease Research Centre, is also functional in the department and is providing yeoman's service to the dairy and poultry farmers of the state in case of disease outbreaks.

The NATP project has been conceived as a field based programme to identify the weather and disease associated epidemiological interfaces that are responsible for diseases. In principle, the weather-based disease forecasting deals with predicting the future, based on the past livestock disease outbreaks associated with meteorological and other climate related phenomenon.

In addition weather parameters in disease outbreaks will be identified to evolve a new set of validated databases to identify disease specific epidemiological parameters. This approach is new in the country and a beginning has been made to fully exploit the current satellite based weather forecasting.


Roads in three colonies opened
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Work for laying sewerage and water supply lines and construction of roads and streets in Ward No 34 in the city was being taken up on war footing and the area councillor, Mrs Surjeet Kaur Dang, inaugurated roads in three colonies — Dr Ambedkar Nagar, Sant Fateh Singh Nagar and Bebe Nanki Colony yesterday.

Speaking on this occasion, she informed that as against Rs 70 lakh sanctioned for development work in the ward, around Rs 4 crore have already been spent on various colonies. While the sewerage and water supply schemes in many localities were near completion, the streetlight system had also been improved.

Presidents of various residents welfare societies, have expressed their gratitude to the councillor and other senior Akali Dal leaders.


Chinese toys a favourite among city kids
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Nov 6 — Chinese toys seem to be spreading out their roots deep into the Indian toy market. These are easily available at an ‘affordable price’ which suits the Indian clientele. It has been almost three years by now that the craze for Chinese toys is making waves in the Indian markets. The Indian toy market has failed to compete with the Chinese toys as they are easily accessible and present a huge variety and are available at comparatively low prices.

In Ludhiana itself, there might not be even a single toy shop which does not provide a variety of Chinese toys to the customers. The range of toys starts with a minimum of Rs 25 for electronic rattles and ‘dinky’ musical toys with lights.

According to Mr Gurvinder Singh, who has a chain of toy shops in the city, Chinese toys offer an ‘unbeatable’ variety of electronic as well as non-electronic toys. He pointed out that there was no doubt about the fact that Indian toys were more superior in quality, but most of the middle class people in India preferred Chinese toys only for being ‘within the reach’.

The non-electronic toys offer a good range of soft toys like colourful teddy bears, cats, monkeys, dogs, dragons, jokers, parrots and other animals and birds. Before the Chinese toys flooded the Indian market, customers had a liking for Taiwan and Korean made toys which were limited and expensive.

The Chinese have also started making dolls which are ‘rare’ in the Indian markets. Taiwan furniture is also available in some of the Indian cities, though at a high price. The maximum price of a Chinese toy can up to Rs 1500-Rs 2000.

Chinese toys are directly being imported from China. Huge containers of these toys are brought to Delhi, Mumbai and other metropolitans, from where these are supplied to the wholesalers who supply these to the retailers according to their demand. The battery operated ‘dinky’ toys are more in demand for being cheap and handy.

Even the soft toys with sounds like cats, dogs, parrots have also been introduced for the children. Another shopkeeper of the Sarabha Nagar area informed that the Chinese computer games were ‘unbeatable’ for their reasonable price from Rs 750 to Rs 1000. However, a shopkeeper complained of the little margin in these toys. He claimed ,”there is so much competition in the market that we hardly get 10 to 15 per cent margin”.Back


YC leader flays jagrata report 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 9 — Mr Narinder Singh Makkar, vice-chairman of the business cell of the Punjab Youth Congress, today criticised certain newspapers (not The Tribune) for carrying the news of a jagrata organised by the YC vice-president, Mr Nirdosh Dhand, in a distorted manner. In a signed press statement issued here today, Mr Makkar said the news had been distorted with a view to defaming Mr Dhand.

He said that Durga Club, established by Mr Dhand nearly 12 years ago, had been holding the jagrata annually since its inception and high ranking officials and politicians had been attending it ever since then. Mr Makkar said to convert the religious function into something controversial was against the ethics of newspapers. He alleged that this had been done as part of a conspiracy to defame the Congress and Mr Dhand.

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