Saturday, December 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Admn to shift polluting industrial units
From Tribune Reporters

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Ludhiana may get the desperately sought-after breathing space in the new year, with the district administration having decided to shift the polluting industries out of the city. A new industrial complex measuring about 1100 acres has been earmarked for the purpose which will provide space to the displaced industrial units.

Talking to The Tribune, the Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu said here today that several new development projects were being taken up in the new year, which may go a long way in improving the living conditions of people in and around Ludhiana.

To a question on the rapid and unplanned growth, the DC said that the responsibility has to be shared by indsutrialists and the government. He pointed out that the main problem was primarily attributed to the unrestricted flow of migrant labourers. However, it is the duty of people for whom the labourers work to provide them with better civic amenities. The DC ruled out any regulation or check on the inflow of migrant labourers in Ludhiana. The issue has been discussed with industrialists on several occasions. Mr Sandhu was of the view that this may also help in relieving pressure on the city.

In the same context he said that the administration plans to shift the polluting units out of the city. About 1100 acres of land has been provided to the PSIEC for the purpose. He hoped this may provide some breathing space to the city.

The administration has several new projects to take up in the new year. The work on much-awaited lawyers’ chambers will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on January 3. The project will cost Rs 8 crore. Half of the amount will be spent by the government while the rest of the amount will be spent by the Bar Association. There will be 542 new chambers constructed.

Referring to the development works, the DC said that 186 km metalled link roads had been constructed in the district and work was in progress for another 186 km. Besides, work will also start on the Rahon-Machhiwara bridge linking Nawanshahr with Ludhiana in March.

As measure of maintaining cleanliness in rural areas, the administration is likely to start wormiculture projects in villages. The garbage dumps lying along the roads would be dumped in small pits so that it is converted into manure by using earthworms, who possess natural tendency to turn garbage into manure. Besides leading to cleanliness of the environmentally it will provide cheaper and environment friendly fertilisers. The Deputy Commissioner also declared that the work on the Satluj action project will start in the new year and everything had been finalised.

Replying to a question on the increased incidents of crime in Ludhiana, Mr Sandhu said it was unfair to attribute the incidents of crime to migrant labourers. He also denied that the crime had increased here. He claimed that from the comparative estimates with the previous years, the incidents had come down. Besides the rise in population is also responsible for the rise of such incidents and no community should not be blamed for it.

Summing up the achievements of the administration during the past one year, he observed that the weekly sangat darshan had remained one of major successes. The increased number of complainants had made the administration to hold the weekly sanghat darshan programme at the spacious Bachat Bhavan as the space in the DC office was less.

Mr Sandhu said he had been regularly touring rural areas in the district to learn about people’s problems.


Councillor’s husband hurt in assault
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Bhupindher Singh Gogi, an activist of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and husband of Akali councillor Manjit Kaur Gogi was seriously injured in an armed assault by some unidentified youths in Pavitr Nagar area here today.

According to the complaint lodged by Mr Gogi with the police, while returning home from a bank after withdrawing about Rs 50,000 he was chased by some youths in a Maruti van. The van reportedly hit his scooter and he fell down.

Soon the youths, who were reported to be four to five in number, started assaulting him with swords and rods. They allegedly snatched his bag containing the money. Meanwhile, an employee of the municipal corporation Avtar Singh who saw the incident tried to intervene. He was also hit in the head. The injured have been admitted to Dayanand Medical College Hospital.

Immediately after the incident, some supporters of Mr Gogi allegedly descended on the market where he had been assaulted. They reportedly forced the shopkeepers to shut down their shops. The shopkeepers, however resented the action, saying that they were being unnecessarily victimised.

Preliminary reports revealed that some old personal enmity led to the assault on Mr Gogi. The police is investigating the matter. No arrests have been made so far.


Knitting in office hours lands women in trouble
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Come winter and ladies are busy with their knitting needles. Knitting for a family member, especially in bright sunshine, gives them immense joy. However, this joy turned into trouble for at least three women employees of the Education Department here today.

The office of the Education Department located in the Mini Secretariat here, had opened today after a number of holidays. Since perhaps, there was not enough work for them to do in the office, three women employees preferred to move to the rooftop to bask in the sunshine. However, it was their bad luck as shortly after their arrival on the roof top, Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, sighted them sitting there from a distance.

Mr Sandhu, on seeing them engaged in knitting, dashed to the roof top and inquired as to what they were doing . He also inquired about the office in which they were working. He immediately directed the authorities concerned to issue charge sheet to all the three women employees. One of them was an accountant, the other a clerk and the third one was a Class IV employee. Informed sources said that while one woman employee was engaged in knitting, the other two were learning knitting patterns from her.

When contacted by Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Sandhu confirmed the surprise checking made by him and also the order passed by him to issue charge sheet to the women employees. He said that private work like knitting was not allowed during office hours. He said that such surprise checks were a routine affair to ensure that all the employees are on their duty doing working hours.


School lying closed for five years
From Our Correspondent

MACHHIWARA, Dec 29 — The Government Primary School at Lakhowal Kalan village near here has been lying closed for the past five years, causing great hardships to the village children.

The village sarpanch, Mr Sushil Kumar, and Mr Charanjit Singh Lakhowal, SAD(B) nominee, expressed concern on the non-functioning of the school which has a magnificent building covering nine kanals. Because of the closure of the school, nearly 100 children of the village were forced to go to the school at Lakhowal Khurd. The villagers told Ludhiana Tribune that the problem arose in 1987-88 when the school teacher started dictating terms and recommended the closure of the school by showing poor strength. The teacher allegedly got himself transferred.

In response to the demands of the villagers, a new teacher was appointed in 1995-96 who made the school, run for about two years. Unfortunately the death of this noble teacher again led to the closure of the school. Now the school has become a place for cattle grazing due to the absence of a boundary wall.

On the request of the villagers, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, has reportedly rung up higher education authorities a number of times, but all in vain.


Ultimatum to police
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — At an emergency meeting held here this afternoon, local municipal councillors led by the Mayor gave three days' time to the police authorities to arrest those involved in the violent attack on Mr Bhupinder Singh Gogi, husband of municipal councillor, Ms Manjit Kaur Gogi.

The Mayor told Ludhiana Tribune that councillors belonging to all political parties participated in the meeting .They unanimously took a decision at the meeting to stage a dharna on Monday on the Jagraon bridge in case those involved in the attack on Mr Bhupinder Singh were not arrested by the police.

He said that all councillors had taken a serious view of the armed assault on Mr Bhupinder Singh and urged the police to nab the culprits soon. The intention of those involved in the attack on Mr Bhupinder Singh was very clear, he added. Councillors have also expressed their concern with regard to Mr Avtar, a corporation employee, who was injured when he came to the rescue of Mr Bhupinder Singh.

Councillors have carefully selected the venue of the dharna as the Jagraon bridge is a link between Ludhiana and Ferozepore via Moga.


Setting the tone for New Year Eve
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Every new year eve is a keenly awaited event. Rather there is something more to the New Year Eve this time, as it heralds the arrival of new millennium.

And Ludhianvis, who are always in search of occasions for celebrations, have every reason to cheer. For they have a habit of doing things with bash and gusto. They celebrate everything with style. And why not, they have a reason for it. For the prosperity the city has brought itself with enterprising entrepreneurs doing business in billions. The city is a land of wealth and prosperity and nobody hesitates here to spend lavishly.

For various hotels and clubs it as an occasion to provide the Ludhianvis taste for their money. These clubs and hotels in the city have organised special programmes to celebrate the New Year Eve. The elite Satluj Club is hosting a free dinner with drinks and everything for its 2,500 members and a few guests.

According to the secretary, Mr A. S. Chawla, the club has organised a special musical night to welcome the new millennium. Renowned playback singer Udit Narayan will perform live through out the night. Besides there will be 17 other popular singers who will keep the night alive.

Mr Chawla disclosed that the night will be one of the unique as club has always been celebrating the New Year Eve with great pomp and show. A ramp show by leading models of the country will also be staged on the occasion. Besides there are fabulous gifts and prizes for the members and the guests.

On the other hand, different hotels in the city have offered special packages for different sections of the people. A few leading hotels of the city have come out with the advertisements offering attractive packages to people to celebrate the New Year.

According to Mr Ranjan Gupta, General Manager, Majestic Park Plaza two separate functions are being organised on the New Year Eve. The functions have obviously been kept separate targeting the different sections of the society.

One programme, apparently aimed at the rich and the elite with fire and ice theme will be held in the Durbar Hall. There would be a live musical show presented by Vicky Singh and Vandhana Wadhera. Bhanu will act as the DJ. Mr Gupta disclosed that it would be a combined package of food and all beverages and would be provided at a cost of Rs 5000 per couple with one child free. For the couples who do not want to be disturbed by their kids during the New Year night, the hotel had organised a creche for the small children for a nominal price of Rs 250 only.Back


MC concedes safai workers’ demands
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — In a meeting of the Municipal Safai Mazdoor Union with the Commissioner of MC, Dr S.S. Sandhu, held here today, many of the pending demands of safai workers and Class IV employees were accepted. It was decided that the Class IV employees would be covered under a group insurance scheme for Rs one lakh each and regular sanitary inspectors would be appointed on the basis of a seniority list.

Giving details of the decisions taken at the meeting, Mr Lovely Pal Disawar, general secretary of the union, informed that the MC would provide a salary slip to all employees of the civic body, posting of provident fund would be updated, PF pass books would be issued to employees and steps would be taken for early payment of insurance claims to families of deceased employees.

The Commissioner further assured the representatives of the union that accounts of all Class IV employees were being computerised to facilitate speedy settlement of all matters.Back


Pensioners demand revision of medical allowance
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — In a memorandum sent to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, the Government Pensioners Association has demanded a revision in their medical allowance.

The pensioners have stated that a fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month paid to them since January 1, 1998, was inadequate to meet the ever-increasing cost of medicare. They have said that the amount should be raised to Rs 300 to the employees and the pensioners.

Meanwhile, Mr Yash Pal Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, said that the postcard memorandum campaign, which was started on December 1, has picked up its momentum. 


SGPC takes serious note of RSS activities
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has taken strong exception to the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) plans to observe Gurpurb in temples from Jan 5 to 21 in Punjab and to organise akhand paths during this period.

In a hard-hitting statement, the SGPC president, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, has observed that the move had hurt Sikh sentiments and it was tantamount to direct interference in religious affairs of the Sikh community. “I am deeply pained at the RSS plans, which are a provocative act and might prove dangerous for peace in Punjab and brotherly relations between Hindus and Sikhs.”

Mr Talwandi further remarked that every religion should accord due respect to other religions and carry out its religious programmes and propagation without any interference with other religions. He said the RSS leadership should refrain from such activities that could ‘strain communal amity and disturb hard won peace in this border state’. Right from the time of Guru Nanak Dev, to the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, Sikh gurus and Sikh community, had always been in the forefront to raise their voice in support of Hindu religion and had made supreme sacrifices for the sake of Hindus, without any interference in their religious affairs.

Making a fervent appeal to the central leadership of BJP and RSS to impress upon the RSS functionaries, not to go ahead with their plans, Mr Talwandi apprehended that ‘any attempt to create communal tension in Punjab, would adversely affect the development process in the entire country.’

The SGPC chief urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to intervene and ask the RSS leadership to desist from their activities, which, if not stopped in time, could have ‘far reaching implications in terms of law and order and communal amity in Punjab.’

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amirtsar), led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has gone a step further and threatened to resort to use of force, if all democratic and peaceful ways failed to stop the RSS functionaries from holding ‘akhand paths’ in temples. Addressing a news conference here, the SAD(A) general secretaries, Mr Jagmohan Singh and Mr Charan Singh Lohara, said reciting gurbani and holding akhand path in a temple by non-Sikhs would be ‘an act of sacrilege,’ which ‘would not be tolerated by the Sikh community.’


A multi-faceted personality
Tribune News Service

AVTAR Singh Grewal was a dynamic man known for his contribution in the field of education and religious activities. A well-known philanthropist of Ludhiana, he was born in Kaunke village on June 17, 1919. Avtar Singh Grewal was a graduate from Khalsa College, Amritsar, and he got law degree from Lahore.

Religious fervour was so strong in him that during his student life in Amritsar he used to pay his obeisance at Harmandir Sahib daily. He had an unshakeble faith in the Divine.

After doing law, he started practice at the Montgomery Bar in Pakistan and was soon secretary of the Bar Association at Montgomery. He was also secretary of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Montgomery.

After Partition, he settled in Ludhiana and started his career from a scratch and carved a niche for himself as a lawyer. He was elected president of the District Bar Association, Ludhiana, twice.

He was founder of the Guru Nanak Education Trust, Ludhiana, and established Guru Nanak Girls College in Model Town in 1969. He was also on the executives of the Nankana Sahib Education Trust and Managing Committee, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. Avtar Singh Grewal was also a member of the Malwa Khalsa Diwan and managing trustee of Khalsa High School, Mehmasinghwala. He was also vice-president of the Ludhiana Municipal Committee and acted as its President, too, for a period of two years.

Being a devout Sikh, he initiated a series of akhand paths. He was the President of gurdwara sabzi-mandi and after moving to Model Town he became its president for 20 years. He was closely associated with Baba Ishar Singh of Gurdwara Kaleran, Nanaksar (Ludhiana district). Avtar Singh Grewal was also a Director of Ludhiana Land Mortgage Bank.

He was married to Sukhdev Kaur, daughter of Mohinder Singh Sidhwan, a freedom fighter. He is proud father of three sons.

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation at its general house meeting recognised the services of Avtar Singh Grewal and decided to name the road from Children Traffic Park to Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Model Town, as ‘S. Avtar Singh Grewal Marg’. Punjab Local Bodies Minister Balramji Das Tandon will perform the formal ceremony on December 30 on the death anniversary of Avtar Singh Grewal.


NRI donates 50 lakh for hospital
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — Anonymity in charity is a great virtue. And Kulwinder Singh, a non resident Indian, settled in Fremoutn California in the USA lives by this virtue. He has already donated Rs 50 lakh for a hospital in his native village, Lohara.

The hospital has already been completed. He said, the management of the hospital has been handed over to the Oswal Hospital for efficient services. All the money would be provided by him, only the management would be with the Oswals, he added.

It was the death of his mother which moved him to start a hospital here. His mother, who was living in Lohara, died of chest pain. Nobody knew that she was having a heart problem. In order to ensure that no other person dies for the lack of medicare, he decided to set-up a hospital in the area.

Kulwinder does not want to stop here. His other projects include spreading the software knowledge in the country. He pointed out that most of the computer institutes are based in urban areas, while the rural youth have not any access to such knowledge. 


SI held in bribe case 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 29 — The local Vigilance Bureau achieved a major success today with the arrest of Ram Ji, Sub-Inspector of police, in charge of Jodhan police post, in Jagraon police district, who was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SP, Vigilance Bureau, said that the Sub-Inspector had been arrested during a trap laid by Mr Saroop Singh Chauhan and Mr Saroop Singh Mann, both DSPs (Vigilance), on the information of Mr Bharpur Singh of Hans Kalan village.

He said that the Sub-Inspector had picked up Mr Rajinderpal Singh, brother-in-law of Mr Bharpur Singh, his sister (Rajinderpal Singh's wife) and the mother of Rajinderpal Singh in connection with an FIR registered under Sections 376 and 366, IPC, lodged on December 27 and kept them in police custody without entering the arrest in police records. The Sub-Inspector then started bargaining, setting the bribery amount to delete the names of the two ladies from the FIR. A bribe of Rs 50,000 was finally settled. The raiding party arrested the Sub-Inspector in the room of the munshi of the police post in the presence of two magistrates, including Mr Bharat Bhushan, Executive Magistrate, and Mr Joginder Singh, Naib Tehsildar, and recovered the amount of Rs 50,000 on the spot.

A case has been registered against the culprit under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mr Bajwa added that the Vigilance Bureau had been geared up to nab the corrupt government officials to check corruption in government offices and appealed to the people to inform the vigilance bureau whenever they came across bribery demands so that such corrupt employees could be punished.Back

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