Thursday, December 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hosiery traders block rail track 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — Railway traffic remained disrupted for sometime at Ludhiana railway station as hundreds of hosiery manufacturers, dealers and traders blocked track in protest against the joint raid by the officials of the CBI and the Sales Tax Department here last night.

In a joint operation by the CBI and the ST department a huge quantity of hosiery goods was sealed at the railway station to verify the reports that the goods were being sent out of Ludhiana without the mandatory payment of the sales tax.

According to a handwritten document reportedly circulated by the sales tax officials the surprise raids were conducted in pursuance of the order issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court had reportedly ordered the CBI to investigate reports that certain hosiery dealers were evading sales tax in connivance with the sales tax officials.

The document said, “during surprise checks it was found that the goods duly packed were stocked in the godwon of the railway station and outside. A lot of goods have been scrutinised and on examination of the documents it could not be ascertained whether sales tax for the goods booked through the railways was paid or not”. It further added, “there is no document which could say whether the sales tax has been paid or not.

The document said, the surprise raid was conducted on the information that the sales tax was being evaded on the goods booked by giving false documents.

The goods had been sealed and the Sales Tax Department had been asked to verify whether the sales tax on these goods had been paid or not. The CBI and ST officials were assisted by the Chief Parcel Supervisor.

As the news of the raids and seizures spread in the local hosiery market infuriated manufacturers, traders and other dealers converged on the railway station and blocked traffic for some time. They were insisting upon the railway officials that their consignments be despatched. However, the officials expressed their helplessness as they had instructions from the ST Department that only those goods should be transported which were duly cleared by the Sales Tax Department.

The protesting traders were joined by some local leaders of different political parties. Besides the representatives of various hosiery associations also reached the railway station. Later negotiations were held between the sales tax officials, the railway authorities and the traders for diffusing the situation. 


Has PAU violated reservation norms?
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has allegedly violated the reservation policy of the government in the appointment of Administrative-cum-Accounts Officer (AAO).

According to Mr Gurbachan Singh, Department, Farm, Power and Machinery, a post of AAO meant for the Scheduled Caste and Tribes Scheduled candidates has been given to a non, SC, ST candidate.

In a complaint to PAU, Mr Gurbachan Singh, revealed that PAU had advertised two posts of AAO in October, 1998. The advertisement clearly specified that one of these posts was reserved for SC/ST candidates. The university appointed, Mr K.C. Verma and Mr H.R. Chawla, both non-SC/ST candidates.

Mr Gurbachan Singh further said in his representation to the university that he had also applied for one of the posts under the reserved category. he maintained that he fulfilled the essential qualifications for the post. In addition, he said he had worked at the post equivalent to that of AAO in the ICAR for two years apart from working as superintendent grade A in PAU for a number of years.

He said, he had made a representation to the Registrar in March, 1999 against the appointment of one of the candidates but he rued that his representation had failed to evoke any response from the authorities concerned.

The Registrar, Mr Alok Shekhar, however, refuted Mr Singh’s allegations. He told this correspondent that the appointment to the two posts was made strictly in accordance with the recommendations of the Janjua Committee.


Six computers for 25 ITI students!
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Dec 5 — Six computers for a batch of 25 students! This is the situation at Government Industrial Training Institute, Gill Road, where the students are taking a postgraduate diploma in e-commerce and software engineering under a joint venture between Punjab Technical University and Asset International.

An inadequate number of computers coupled with the problem of poor maintenance has caused much resentment among the students at the centre. The students said, ‘‘We were told that there will be one computer for two students. However, we have been given 10 computers, three of which worked for a week only and one went out of order last week. The fifth one has a defective display card, but we are still using it for practice.’’

The students said they were not getting sufficient time for practice as a group of five to six students were using one computer. ‘‘The time for practical class is just 70 minutes and one student gets just 12 to 15 minutes for practice. We do not get extra time for practice as there are six batches and the computer laboratory remains occupied the whole day.’’

The students said their first few modules included the fundamentals of computers and if they were not able to follow them properly and practice regularly, they would not be able to grasp the basic know-how. ‘‘After this, we will begin with a module on networking and programming which requires a lot of practice,’’ the students rued. As per rules, the university had to supply the computers and look after their maintenance as well. Most of the computers, which were supplied to the centre, were lying idle at some of its affiliated institutes and no efforts had been made to maintain them.

The students said when a coordinator of the university visited the centre to enquire about the problems last week, they told him about the dearth of computer systems.



New farm policy in next session of LS
From Our Correspondent

MACHHIWARA, Dec 6 — The Union State Minister of state for Agriculture, Mr Shreepad Naik, said here today that to improve farming in the country, a new agricultural policy would be presented in the Lok Sabha, during the next session. He had come to Hayatpura village near here to visit charhdi kala farm of Mr Darshan Singh Tabiba.

Asked about the procurement arrangements for wheat, Mr Naik said the Union Government was preparing itself to avoid losses. He stated that the government would help farmers to mould themselves according to the international market before globalisation.

Expressing his views, about the farm, he said it was one of its kind in the country. Dr Surjit Singh Gill, Additional Director, Communications, PAU, Ludhiana, said the minister had advised the university officials to guide the farmers in selling the crop after processing. He had assured cooperation in the establishment of such processing units. Mr Naik sought the help of university officials in providing new technique for paddy crop in Goa.

Addressing a meeting of scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University yesterday, Mr Naik said farmers should bring about changes in their farming techniques keeping in view the World Trade Organisation agreement. He promised that his department would support the research, teaching and extension activities at PAU.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Pro Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said farmers were at the crossroads today where as they did not know which crop they should adopt to come out of the rice-wheat rotation. He urged the government to provide adequate support to effective marketing of agricultural produce.


MC debars two contractors from submitting tenders
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 6 — The Commissioner of the local Municipal Corporation, Dr S.S. Sandhu, has debarred two contractors, Mr Shanti Sarup Singla and M/s D.M. Construction Company, from submitting tenders for MC works.

Mr Singla has been penalised for poor quality of work and workmanship. The other contractor, entrusted with the work of construction of roads, along Budha Nullah from Rahon Bridge to Shiv Puri, has attracted penal action for delay in execution of work.

Dr Sandhu has impressed upon the engineers of the MC to be careful about the quality, workmanship and speed of work being undertaken in the city and to instruct contractors accordingly.

He has further warned all contractors and officers to ensure good quality of work and completion within the stipulated period, otherwise strict action will be taken against the defaulters.


PSEB lineman held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — The Vigilance Department has arrested a lineman of the PSEB, Gurbax Singh, on the charge of accepting a bribe. According to information, Mr Manjeet Singh of Janata Nagar here has applied for the replacement of the meter. All official formalities were completed, but Gurbax Singh allegedly demanded Rs 4,000 for the replacement.

Mr Manjeet Singh informed the bureau and consequently the lineman was caught red-handed by a team led by Mr Sarup Singh, DSP. A case has been registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The name of the complainant has been recommended to the state government for the award. 


Phone services disrupted
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — Telephone services remained disrupted in and around Ludhiana this evening.

The only voice heard was that “sorry for the interruption, only emergency services are available.”

No department official could be contacted. Mobile phone services were also partially affected due to congestion in the networks.


Punishment to Azhar too mild
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — Cricket lovers in the city have hailed the lifetime ban on Azharuddin for his alleged involvement in match fixing. Reacting to the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a cross- section of people, whom Ludhiana Tribune talked to, while welcoming the ban said the punishment should have been more severe as the ban will not serve any purpose since Azhar is “as good as already retired”.

Mr A P Singh, of Communication Centre in Punjab Agricultural University here said the punishment was too mild and soft. He observed that the way the players had betrayed the nation and the sports lovers they deserved most severe punishment. He suggested that Azharuddin should be divested of all his records and his assets seized.

Supporting his argument PAU students Vaneet Malhotra and Gagandeep Singh said, the BCCI by awarding such a mild punishment to Azhar had done him a great favour. “What will happen with the ban, as Azhar has already retired”, Malhotra asked while suggesting some severe punishment. Gagandeep also shared his observation saying the discipline needed to be enforced strictly so that no such thing happened in future.

Anjali Sharma, an MSc student described Azhar’s act as “criminal”. She said, he should be dealt with as a criminal and not as a gentleman. She pointed out, the nature of his crime was too grave and serious since it involved the honour and prestige of the nation, besides the sentiments of millions of countrymen.

Another student Shefali Sharma also voiced similar sentiments. She observed that dishonest people should not be spared. She also felt that mere ban was too mild a punishment for such a big crime.

Dr R C Bhatia a paediatrician, however, felt that the ban was alright and no further punishment was needed. He was of the view that no player in future will dare to betray the nation the way some players did. He disagreed with the view that Azhar should be divested of all his honours and records.

Dr Ranbir Dalal, a senior scientist in the Haryana Agricultural University and secretary to the Vice Chancellor, suggested that the matter should be further investigated. He demanded that the assets accumulated by the cricketers should also be thoroughly probed. He pointed out that the wealth of only a few cricketers had already become an issue of debate. The government should probe other aspects also. He also disagreed with the suggestion that Azhar should be divested of his records, as he had set them much earlier.

Mr Sanjiv Kumar, a chemist, said the ban should have been imposed much earlier. He observed that the BCCI was too late in its decision. Mr Kumar pointed out that the South African Cricket Board took no time in banning Hansie Cronje despite the fact that he was in form and had been leading his team to great victories.


Enlist as Punjabis in census, says Tarlochan Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — The Vice-Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, Mr Tarlochan Singh, called upon all Punjabis across the country to ensure that they enlist themselves as Punjabis in the forthcoming census. This, he said, was essential not only for promoting Punjabi but also for strengthening the sense of belongingness among the Punjabis all over the country.

Delivering a lecture on the future of Punjabi at Punjabi Bhavan here yesterday, he pointed out the great Punjabi diaspora spread over different parts of the country was feeling rootless. He pointed out these people were facing the crisis of identity. Language is the only medium which can give an identity to people and help them identify themselves with their roots.

The commission Vice-Chairman said the forthcoming census was the best way to establish their identity as Punjabi-speaking people. He warned against identifying the Punjabi language with a particular religion and pointed out there were millions of people belonging to different religions who spoke Punjabi.

He observed, while the Sikhs had one common identity based on religion, Punjabi Hindus outside Punjab were feeling alienated as they did not have any common bond. He pointed out, there was a worldwide trend that people were going back to their roots. Even Indians settled abroad had established various institutions which helped in safeguarding their cultural identity. In fact, he said, the Canadian Government had earmarked separate funds for each cultural and linguistic minority to celebrate their cultural festivals.

Mr Tarlochan Singh gave a clarion call to all Punjabis settled in different states to come forward to strengthen their mother tongue. “It does not require any extra effort, but only a sense of responsibility, besides giving oneself his identity”, he remarked, while adding to warn, “otherwise we will feel lost, rootless and alienated”.

He regretted that Punjabi was not getting its rightful due in the country, particularly in Delhi. He pointed out, while Punjabi should have been the second official language given the number of Punjabi speaking people over there, it was Urdu, which had been given this status.

However, he expressed satisfaction over the popularity of Punjabi music, which had helped a great deal in spreading the live and vibrant Punjabi culture. He said, Punjabi culture had been adopted not only in Punjab and India but also abroad.

The Government of India has agreed to release a commemorative stamp in honour of artist Sobha Singh on his birth anniversary on November 29 next year. This was disclosed by Mr Tarlochan Singh while addressing a distinguished gathering of intellectuals.


Punish guilty officials, demand class IV staff
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — A massive convention of workers was held here today in front of the mini-secretariat by the Class IV Government Employees’ and Workers’ Union, Ludhiana. The convention passed a unanimous resolution that action should be taken against Mr Sajjan Singh and his followers who had attacked four employees on November 21, 22 while working in the Canal complex.

The convention demanded action against the guilty against whom the FIR had been already registered.

Mr Jai chand Sharma, state president and Mr Karam Singh, district president, jointly demanded the government should fulfil the burning demands of the workers which included pending bonus of four years, regularising the services of daily wage earners and part time workers, filling of vacant posts, promotion on merit, and to give preference to the wards of deceased workers in jobs.


YC members remember Ambedkar
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 6 — Glowing tributes were paid to Dr B. R. Ambedkar at a function organised by the District Youth Congress at Habib Ganj Ravi Das Dharamshala here today to mark the death anniversary of father of the Indian Constitution.

Speaking on the occasion, the DYC President, Mr Parminder Mehta, said the place of respect and equality enjoyed by the Dalits and weaker sections today was the result of prolonged battle fought by the Congress on their behalf.

Other speakers, including Mr Jasbir Johny, Mr Harish Suneja, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Pishori Lal Pahwa, Mr Subhash Rajasthani, Mr Ashok Arora and Mr Kashmiri Lal Thapar, lamented that the plan to build an Ambedkar Bhavan at each district headquarters, chalked out by the then Congress government in Punjab, was shelved by the ruling SAD-BJP combine.

The district unit of the BJP (Urban) held a similar function at Arya Senior Secondary School in which the Punjab Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, and Mr Avinash Jaiswal, Organising Secretary of state unit, besides other party activists paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) President, Mr Surinder Dawar, was the chief guest at the function organised by the Block Congress Committee at Valmiki Dharamshala in Shahi Mohalla.

Prominent among those who present were Mrs Sat Pal Kaur Sahota, Mr Hamaiti Lal, Mr Amar Nath Bharti, Mr Raju Thapar, Mr Ashok Sareen, Mr Som Datt Sahota, Mr Jagdish Gill, Mr Gurcharan Balu, Dr Amarjit Singh, Mr Rajan Shukla and Mr Baldev Sharma, all block presidents.


Janata Dal (S) seeks Badal’s resignation
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 6 — The Punjab unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) has hailed the dismissal of an appeal filed in the Supreme Court by the Punjab Government against the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had given a clean chit to a former Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr V. K. Khanna, and had recommended action against two senior IAS officers, Mr Bikramjit Singh and Mr I. S. Bindra. The state president of the party, Mr Harish Khanna, said that the government had lost its credibility and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, should resign.

Expressing sorrow over the tragic rail accident at Jeewanpura, near Fatehgarh Sahib, in which 43 persons were killed and several injured, the party has urged the Prime Minister to accept the resignation of the Union Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee. It further called for deterrent action against erring railway officials and payment of adequate compensation to next of kin of the victims.

Addressing a meeting of the state unit of the party, Mr Khanna said that in response to the call given by the party to gherao Parliament House in New Delhi on December 14, thousands of farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs would converge at the venue in protest against anti-farmers, anti-industry and anti-people policies of the NDA government. The gherao to be led by former Prime Ministers namely Mr H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr V.P. Singh.



Mayor Apinder Singh is Grewal Brotherhood patron
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — In a bid to nurture their roots and promote interaction in the Grewal community of the region an organisation called Grewal Brotherhood, has been floated under the patronage of Mayor of Ludhiana, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal.

Disclosing this here on Wednesday, the unanimously elected president of the organisation, Mr Samsher Singh said an enrolment drive would be launched at a function on December 16 in which community members who have excelled in their respective professions would be honoured.

Besides others, the inaugural meeting of the brotherhood was attended by the city Mayor, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, MLA, Dr Gurinder Grewal, Mr Jagdev Singh Grewal, PCS (retd), Amarjit Singh and Jagdev Singh (both transporters), Mr Daljit Singh Grewal and many more. The association secretary, Mr Paramjit Singh, can be contacted at 630-R, Model Town, Ludhiana.


Postal staff stir continues
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — The indefinite strike by postal and Railway Mail Service (RMS) employees entered the second day today, with the postal services remaining completely paralysed.

Mr C.L. Verma, divisional secretary, All India Postal Employees Union Class III, in a press statement accused the government of failing to honour its commitments made in the December 18, 1998, agreement Mr Verma further alleged that the unilateral formation of another departmental committee by the government to go into the written agreement and also the formation of a committee of group of Cabinet ministers without taking into confidence the staff amounted to nothing more than delaying tactics to harass the postal staff.

The joint committee of postal and RMS employees met Mr Sewa Singh, divisional president, and intimated that out of 49 post offices, only four offices were open and no public transaction was made. Mail motors were not on roads and delivery of mail had been affected. RMS and the Speed Post Centre was locked.

Mr Verma said that Postal Store Depot was also closed and work at the Circle Stamp Depot had been paralysed. The meeting was addressed by Mr Kanwar Lal, Mr Subhash Kawatra, Mr Sewa Singh, Mr Roshan Lal and Mr Ramesh Kakkar.


Home Guards celebrate raising day 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — The 40th Raising Day of Punjab Home Guards and Civil Defence was celebrated here today. More than 250 officers and guards participated in the function, which was presided over by Mr K S Ghuman, District Commandant. Addressing the gathering Mr Ghuman appreciated the services and sacrifices made by officers and jawans during the period of terrorism. 

He exhorted the jawans to carry on with their commendable performance. 

A message from the Commandant-General, Punjab Home Guards, and Director, Civil Defence, Punjab, Mr G S Bhullar, was read out on the occasion. He congratulated the jawans and officers on the raising day. He, remembered the 12 officers and 856 jawans of the department who had laid down their lives for the nation. PHG Guard Raghbir Singh who won bronze medal at the All- India Home Guard and Civil Defence Meet at Kurukshetra, was rewarded.


Probe against MC official begins
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Dec 6 — The police has started investigation against a sectional officer of the local municipal council following a complaint, filed by some councillors for allegedly grabbing MC funds.

According to information, three municipal councillors, Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Jaspal Singh Lotey and Mr Ashok Tewari, complained to SSP Khanna that an year and a half ago, a traffic light pole in Malerkotla chowk was damaged when it was hit by a bus. The driver was caught and bus was impounded.

After a compromise was arrived at, Rs 27,000 was paid by the owner of the bus. The amount was allegedly handed over to the then sectional officer, Tarsem Kumar, to deposit it at the MC office. The amount has not been deposited till today.


1 dead, 4 hurt in mishap
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, Dec 6 — A woman was killed and four others from a family sustained injuries in an accident on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road near Bhaini Sahib chowk.

Antpal Singh of Koom Kalan village was driving a Zypsy when a speeding bus collided with it. Harbans Kaur, wife of Antpal, died on the spot. Antpal and his three children, sustained serious injuries. They were admitted to hospital. A case has been registered.


Punjab and Sind Bank to tap rural market
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 — Punjab and Sind Bank has decided to focus on the rural areas which have so far been ignored by other private and public sector banks. This was disclosed here today by Mr M.S. Kapur, executive director and acting chairman of Punjab and Sind Bank.

Talking to TNS, he said about 60 per cent of the branches out of 1860 branches were in rural areas. The bank was giving preference to the priority sectors, agriculture and small scale industries. It had advanced about 40 per cent of the total loans to these sectors.

The bank was planning to concentrate on small scale industries, besides trade and consumer loans, which had a large potential in Punjab. In Chandigarh, some projects were being financed by the bank for technological upgradation of such industries. With the implementation of the WTO and increasing global competition, there was lot of scope and need for technological upgradation of small scale projects, he said.

Asked about the plans of the bank to compete with the private sector, he said, “Customer satisfaction is the key to survive in the changed scenario. Punjab and Sind Bank is geared up to take on the challenge. The computerisation of select branches, orientation courses for the staff and increased emphasis on personalised banking service are some of the steps taken by the management.”

The bank would soon bring out its public issue in the market to enhance its capital base. Negotiations with the foreign partners to come in the insurance sector were in the final stages.

Expressing concern about the lack of good industrial projects in Punjab, he said, “The Punjabis were doing excellent work in the industry outside Punjab, but due to location disadvantage of the state, large industrial groups had not shown much interest in the state. The state government can play a crucial role by formulating suitable policies.”

The bank was keen to finance big projects to the tune of Rs 200 to 300 crore. Some projects with the collaboration of the state government were in the pipeline. The bank had provided a loan of Rs 75 crore to the PSEB, he added.

Regarding the response to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), he said out of 12,000 employees, 1,600 had applied for VRS and more applications were expected to come in the coming days. The last date for applying for VRS was December 31.


Textile site launched
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 6 —, a dedicated textile portal, was launched by Mr Ashok Oswal of Oswal Group of Industries of Ludhiana, India.

Mr Oswal has 20 years experience in industry. provides specific information on all sectors of textile industry.

Besides information the other features of the portal are buy and sell offers auctions textile forum for exchange of opinions and views, sourcing of popular brands in any city. textile4all also provides facilities like free email, chat room, news, etc.

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