Tuesday, February 27, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


People, industry welcome Railway Budget
From Tribune Reporters

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — Various sections of industry have hailed the Union Railway Budget, albeit with some reservations over the small hike of 3 per cent in freight. Mr. V.P. Chopra, President, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations (FOPSIA) and a former president of the federation of Small Industries of India (FASII), has welcomed the soft Budget, presented by Union Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee. He said no change in the fare structure and introduction of a new train between Amrtisar and Asansol were welcome steps.

However, a hike in the freight, even for non-essential items, was not called for at the moment, in view of severe demand recession and resource crunch being faced by the industrial sector, particularly, the small and tiny sector of industry.

A prominent hosiery manufacturer Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal was of the opinion that no additional burden should have been imposed on the trade and industry. “Although the Railway Minister had done well to leave the rail fare alone and had effected a marginal increase in freight, the ultimate burden will have to be borne by the consumers and prices were bound to increase.” Rather than jacking up fare and freight, which had become a regular feature, the Ministry of Railway should pay more attention to bringing efficiency and providing better amenities to travellers”, Mr Aggarwal commented.

Mrs Pappo Abnash Singh, a business woman who frequently travels in Indian Railways, said the current Railway budget was a good one and everyone should welcome it. ‘They’ have not increased the fares, that means common man is not affected by it. The 3 per cent increase (freight charges) on non essential items was not something shocking. At least the government also had to take necessary steps to generate resources. We must contribute some share of our money to create resources. One should feel happy that the poor are not the sufferers this time.

Ms Anjana Sachdeva, a student, said: ‘‘It is good for us that there is no hike in the railway fares. I will not have to think much before I plan a trip with my friends this summer. Had there been any increase in the fare, several students would have been deprived of the opportunity to move around in the country.’’

According to Mr Amrit Lal Mehra, a leading businessman dealing in saris in the Pindi Street area of Chaura Bazar, the Railway Budget has come on expected lines. He described it as a “good consumer and business friendly budget”. He said it was heartening to know that there was no hike in the fare for any class. Moreover, he pointed out, an additional train from Amritsar to Asansol is certainly a good news for the people of this region.

Similar views were expressed by Mr Dinesh Prashar Daata. Hailing the Budget, he said it was good to know that the passenger fare for all classes had been retained at the existing level. However, he said, there are no specific measures proposed in the budget which could reflect the seriousness of the government in improving the services in the railways. He also welcomed the introduction of new train between Amritsar and Asansol which will provide a breather to the people of this region.



PSEB told to pay Rs 5,000
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — The District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board to pay Rs 5,000 on account of deficiency in service to Mr Lal Singh. The forum further directed the board to release a new electricity connection to the complainant.

Mr Lal Singh, a resident of Jhhordan village, Tehsil Raikot, had applied for an electricity connection for tubewell and deposited Rs 500 in 1987. The complainant again deposited Rs 1,000 in 1992 for the said connection. Later, again on the demand of the board complainant deposited a sum of Rs 15,200 on March 9, 1999. The complainant stated before the forum that he was assured that the connection would be released very soon. He alleged that despite many requests to the authorities the connection was not released.

The board pleaded, “There was no deficiency in services as the complainant was not a consumer because he would not pay the energy consumption charges as the electricity for agriculture purpose is free of cost.” The board further stated before the forum, “The connection are released as per the seniority list and the name of the complainant is at serial No 181.” The board denied that any amount was deposited in 1987 and 1992 as alleged by the complainant. However the board admitted that the complainant had deposited Rs 15,200 as service charges.

The forum observed, “If the turn of the complainant has not matured, the board should not have issued a demand notice and that issuing of demand notice when the board had no intention to provide the connection to the complainant is itself a deficiency in service.” “As per the rules the connection should have been released within three months of issuing of the demand notice and accordingly the board is directed to release the connection at the earliest” the forum added.


Train mishap averted
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — A tragedy was averted when a tractor-trailer, loaded with sand, collided with the Ferozepore-Ludhiana passenger train (2LF) at the unmanned railway crossing between Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Guru Amardas Nagar at around 8.30 a.m. here.

It was a providential escape for Mr Gurdev Singh (30) and Mr Rajkumar (28), who were going on the tractor-trailer. Mr Rajkumar, a software engineer, was taking the sand for construction of his house in Ranchi Nagar.

Mr Gurdev Singh, who was driving the tractor, said he could not spot the train probably due to the noise of the tractor engine. They were lucky as the tractor had crossed the railway track before the train engine struck the trailer.

Rajkumar told this correspondent that he was sitting with the driver when the accident took place. The tractor got disconnected from the trailer. The train dragged the trailer for about 50 metres. While Rajkumar sustained minor fractures in his collar bone and the left leg, Gurdev Singh sustained minor injuries. Both of them were admitted to the Ragunath Hospital. A case has been registered by the Railway Police under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr Surjinder Singh, President, Naujawan Khalsa Front, had given a memorandum to the Railway and civil authorities for providing a man and constructing a gate for the safety of the commuters. But the authorities have not done anything in this connection so far.



Erratic power supply hits PAU functioning
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — There is complete darkness in Punjab Agricultural University. Darkness with an unfailing regularity. This has been adversely effecting teaching in the university. Some scientists and teachers disclosed that for the last two weeks there was regular breakdown for hours together.

Even today when this reporter visited the university at around noon the electricity was off. Most rooms presented literally a dark look. But it is the research work that gets hit worst by the electricity failure.

One senior scientist who was working with his two research scholars in the laboratory disclosed that during the last two weeks the electric breakdown had become a routine. There was no advance information about the electricity cut. He pointed out that a number of practicals conducted in the laboratories required electricity. Most of the practical work gets hampered as the electricity goes off in the middle of the practicals. Some times the practical work cannot be started.

The scientists disclosed that if things continue like this most of the laboratories may be closed down as there is no fun in starting an experiment if it gets disrupted midway.

While the students and the scientists claimed that the matter had been brought to the notice of the university administration, the Registrar and the Estate Officer in the university said nobody had approached them and the matter had not been brought to their notice.

The Registrar, Mr Alok Shekhar, said he had no information about the electricity failure in the university or the consequential effect on the working.

The Estate Officer Col Raghubir Singh admitted that there was a regular cut in the electricity during the past some time. However, he expressed his helplessness as the electricity was being directly supplied by the Punjab State Electricity Board and the university had no control over it.


Connect asked to fill up trenches
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — The Municipal Corporation has asked Connect (HFCL Infotel Limited) to fill up trenches and has refused further permission to the company for digging roads.

Recently laid roads have trenches, pits and uneven surfaces.

The company was made to lay telephone lines at the rate of Rs 25 per metre (including digging and restoration). The corporation allocated about 26 areas to the company.

The company started the ‘digging’ work in September. Only a few months back potholes were repaired, observed Mr Jeevan Dhawan, a businessman.

The digging has damaged telephone lines and cable wires. The Deputy General Manager, Planning, DOT, said field officials were examining the damages. A demand notice has been given to the company to make up for the losses. “They will have to compensate for the damages but there is no penalty for ‘interruption’, added the DGM.

Mr Ajay Sharma of Connect said the company’s target was to provide 65,000 telephone connections in the city by March 2001. “We have already worked out on 25,000 connections in the industrial areas, Focal point, Pakhowal Road, Civil Lines and Model Town.” 


Knife recovered
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 26— Anand Singh, a resident of Janta Nagar, was arrested near Sangeet Cinema for carrying a kamanidar knife. The police has registered a case under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Dowry case
Tarandeep Kaur, a resident of Model Town Extension, has alleged that her husband and in-laws, all residents of Delhi, were demanding more dowry from her. A case has been registered under Sections 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Motor cycle stolen
The Bajaj Calibre, black coloured motor cycle (PB-10-AM- 4144) of Balwinder Singh, a resident of Haibowal Kalan, was stolen from the Saint Motors. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.

Five held for keeping weapons
Suraj Parkash, Daljit Singh, Munna, Jaswinder Singh and Babu Alam were reportedly planning a dacoity near Shamshan Ghat Wall, Chander Lok Colony when a police team led by Sub-Inspector Balwinder Singh arrested them and found a 315-bore pistol with two cartridges, two kamanidar knives and two iron rods from the suspects. A case has been registered under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC and under Section 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.



Evil spirit scares lawyers
From Our Correspondent

JAGRAON, Feb 26 — The Bar Association, Jagraon, recently organised a havan and path of Sukhmani Sahib in the Bar room, purportedly to ward off evil spirits.

Lawyers feel that they are under the influence of some evil spirit which has resulted in the death of an advocate, Narinder Kumar Pasricha, a few days ago. They also feel that the health disorders being faced by them are also due to this evil influence.



Eye camp on March 3 
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 26— A free eye operation camp will be organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Bassi Pathanan on March 3 at Aggarwal Dharamshala, Bassi Pathanan. 

According to Mr Manpreet Singh Sahu, Advocate, PRO, Dr R.S. Gill, Assistant Professor, Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, alongwith his team will examine the patients.


Leader demands case against ASI
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — Mr Narinder Singh Lamba, Joint Secretary, Akhil Bhartiya Rajivwadi Congress (Dubey), a party registered with the Election Commission, has demanded the registration of a case under Section 182 of the IPC against Surjit Singh and ASI Manjit Singh, posted at Shingar Cinema police chowki, for instituting a couple of false cases against him.

He has given telegrams to this effect to the Chairman, Panjab Human Rights Commission, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr. Sarabjit Singh, Director General , Punjab Police , Mr. K.K. Attri, IG, crime, Punjab and the Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab.

He stated in a press note here today that he was summoned to the police station on July 24 last year where he was detained for more than 24 hours. The next day, a case under section 107 and 151 of the IPC was registered against him on the complaint of Surjit Singh. Later, when he apprised senior officials about the matter, a group of persons led by Surjit Singh attacked him at his house. When he informed the officials concerned about it, the ASI refused to entertain his complaint in this regard. Mr Lamba has alleged that on September 25, he was called to the office of the DSP on the pretext that his statement was required in connection with his complaint to the senior officers of the department. He was beatenup there and another case under the same sections was registered against him , this time again on the complaint of the same person.

After obtaining bail, he got himself medically examined at the Civil Hospital where his injuries were recorded in detail.

He has further stated that Mr Manjit Singh Brar, SDM, Ludhiana ( West), dismissed both the cases on January 12 this year. He could obtain the copy of the order only on February 19 because of police pressure. The SDM observed in his order was allegations given in the calandra did not seem to be correct as investigating officer and complainant were not present despite summons to them. It appears that prosecution does not want to pursue this case. In the absence of the investigating-officer, the charge levelled against the accused do not stand proved and there was no option but to discharge the accused.’

The two cases were registered at an interval of two months, the court heard both the cases at the same time and decided both the cases on the same day.


Seminar on challenges before the Press
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 26 — The challenge to the Press is not from the electronic media, but it lies within its own community as non-professionals have entered into this profession in a big way, said Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a seminar on Challenges before the Press’ organised by the Steel Town weekly at the Gymkhana Club today.

He said the Press should work fearlessly for the cause of the common man and society. He advised that reporters should adhere to the facts of the news. He said it was duty of the reporters to take version of the affected party, to ensure a balanced news. He said reporters should work in a responsible manner.

He assured the media persons that to redress their grievances a meeting of journalists would be called soon.

Earlier Mr Anil Suraj, Managing Editor of the Steel Town weekly highlighted various problems being faced by the mediapersons.


Woes of Damoria motorists
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — The famous Damoria bridge of the town has not ceased to tease passersby in spite of the fact that it had been widened some years ago by constructing another road beneath it.

While the widening of the bridge has facilitated traffic to and from the Civil Lines to a great extent, it has also added to the woes of daily commuters who find the place hard to negotiate during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening. The road leading from the bridge to Arya School and Kapur Hospital chowk has been bifurcated with dividers. The dividers have certainly helped in streamlining the traffic to some extent as drivers know their limits. Until a few years ago, traffic police had enforced one-way rule for commuters coming from the Civil Lines side, as a result of which one wanting to visit Bhadaur House had to make a detour via Kapur Hospital chowk. But now with the road dividers in place, those who want to visit Deepak Cinema or Bhadaur House market, can turn to the right for the purpose. No problem at all.

Yet traffic jams are frequent. Car drivers blare their horns, curse and grind their teeth for minutes together if not hours. The villain of the piece is the traffic constituted by those residents of Chhawni Mohalla, situated at the old city end of the bridge, who disrupt the flow from the Civil Lines side in order to join the lane for the Civil Lines, which is on the other side of the road.

Traffic in the lane for the Civil Lines is also disrupted due to the movement of people to and from the locality. Hand carts are particularly nasty as more often than not it is a cart that is at the root of a jam. Is there a way out? For the time being, there seems to be none.

Traffic cops are posted at the top of the ascending road. But no cop is visible at this vulnerable spot. A general feeling prevails that the cops posted to regulate traffic are more or less a lazy lot. Or maybe the city residents are too demanding.


Punjabi lecturer dead
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 26 — Surinder Singh Grewal, Lecturer, Department of Punjabi, Government College for Boys, died of massive cardiac arrest on February 24. He was 51.

He was away to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to attend the refresher course. It was the valedictory day of the course when he breathed his last.

His teaching career spanned over two decades. He is survived by his wife and two children.


20 eve-teasers nabbed in Khanna
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Feb 26 — In a major drive the police here today nabbed 20 youths on the charges of eve-teasing. The youths were detained from the areas in front of schools and colleges. Besides, several people were also arrested for drinking at public places.

The SSP, Mr R. N. Dhoke, disclosed that the eve-teasers and the revellers were nabbed from different points of the city by a team of policemen led by the SHO city, Mr Rajeshwar Hastir.

Giving details, the DSP, Khanna, told reporters that acting upon widespread complaints by the general public about the eve-teasing and nuisance created by certain elements at public places, particularly restaurants and other eating points, a team of police personnel swooped on these anti-social elements and about 30 of them were nabbed.

Pradeep Kumar, Jatinder Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Onkar Verma, Netar Singh, Tinku, Mohinder Singh, Rajbir, Jagjit and Ramandeep were arrested in a drunken state. Besides, 20 youths were nabbed from outside various schools and colleges on the charge of eve-teasing.

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