Friday, April 6, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hooch claims six lives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 5
The ever-increasing sale of spurious liquor, a direct outcome of non-auctioning of vends in Ludhiana district, claimed six lives in the first reported hooch tragedy in the district. According to reports reaching the district headquarters, six persons died and nearly an equal number were admitted to different private nursing homes after they consumed country made spirit late last night.

Three of the deceased identified so far, include Nazar Singh, Kuldip Singh and Surinder Singh of Malmajra village. Out of the three others whose names could not be established, two are employees of the Public Works Department (PWD) hailing from Dhindsa and Mansurpur villages. Of those taken ill after consuming the liquor, two were identified as Mita and his nephew Chhinda, they have been admitted to a private nursing home at Samrala.

According to officials at the police post at Hedon, most of the critically ill, more than six in number, whose number is put to have preferred to get admitted in private nursing homes to avoid any police action.

Last week, the government had failed to hold the auction of liquor vends due to the clash of interests of lobbies close to Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal on the one hand and Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon on the other. Officials on conditions of anonymity said some tragedy was bound to happen in the absence of non-availability of liquor from licensed- ends.

In the Samrala area, where the tragedy took place, the Excise Department is itself running two vends one at Samrala and another at Macchiwara. But non-availability of liquor has led to increase in the illicit distillation in the district of which the administration is well aware. But at the same time administration officials are feeling helpless due to the direct interference from the CM’s family. 


Impasse over liquor vends’ auction continues
Liquor in short supply in city
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana April 5
The ongoing battle between two Punjab ministers over the auction of liquor vends in this district has created a situation in which the government is facing massive loss of revenue, with each passing day and liquor has literally disappeared from the city, since barely 100 odd vends, both of country liquor and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), out of a total of 562, operating till March 31, have opened so far.

The auction of liquor vends, scheduled to be held here on March 26 was postponed by the department, without giving any satisfactory reason to the participating liquor traders and later on March 31, only two groups of vends — Samrala Road and Ferozepur Road — were auctioned for Rs 12.86 crore and Rs 16.26 crore, respectively. Last year, the district had netted a whopping Rs. 216.82 crore from auction of liquor vends, the highest in the state.

It is well known that the liquor trade in the district, till last year that is, was dominated by the family of the Technical Education Minister Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha and the Minister for Excise and Taxation Mr Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, had succeeded to some extent in curtailing the monopoly control of the group, commonly known as ‘syndicate’ by bringing in other contractors.

That the liquor contractors, reportedly favoured by the minister, as well as others, suffered huge losses during the year ended on March 31, 2001, is another story, which has all the ingredients of a thriller, with the new liquor contractors denied the possession of shops for new vends, which is a common practice in the trade, rate cutting and illegal sale of liquor to affect lawful sales.

According to knowledgeable sources in liquor trade, the contractors had suffered cumulative losses of more than 10 per cent during the last year, with each group of vends losing between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore, which had resulted in many of the contractors turning into defaulters. “In such a situation, forcing the contractors to give a sizeable hike was unfair.” It was further reported that the department had allotted liquor vends at a lower price in places like Sangrur, Ropar, Nangal and Kurali to existing contractors, in view of the losses sustained by them, but this policy was given a go-by as far as Ludhiana vends were concerned for reasons best known to senior officials of the Excise and Taxation Department or the minister concerned.

It is learnt that taking advantage of the prevailing uncertainty and apprehensions in the liquor trade, some outside traders, reportedly enjoying close proximity to the Excise and Taxation Minister had come for bidding and out of two groups auctioned so far, one been awarded to a liquor magnate from Uttar Pradesh.

Mr S.S. Makkar, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, told Ludhiana Tribune that as far as auction of remaining groups of vends in the district was concerned, the decision was to be taken at the ‘higher’ level in the government. The two groups for which auction was held at Patiala, had set up 62 vends in the city, while the department was operating another 42 vends in some localities of the city.

With the impasse over auction of liquor vends in most of the city localities and periphery continuing and the government functionaries working at cross purposes, the smugglers and bootleggers were having a field day, with the excise authorities and the police proving clueless to tackle the situation.



PSEB privatisation sought 
Industry to launch agitation from April 19
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
Upset over the erratic power supply and undeclared power cuts imposed by the Punjab State Electricity Board, coupled with “anti-industry” policies of the PSEB and the government, the local industry has demanded dissolution of the PSEB and handing over power generation and distribution to private hands. A section of industry here has threatened to hold a protest march on April 19 and make a bonfire of imported goods, being dumped in the domestic market by multinational companies under the WTO agreement.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) and the Ludhiana Small Scale Manufacturers Association (LSSMA) held two separate press conferences in the city today to highlight the problems of industry, particularly the small-scale sector, arising from massive power cut of six hours on the supply to industrial sector, in addition to frequent load-shedding and tripping and the removal of quantitative restrictions on import of 715 items.

CICU president Inderjit Singh and general secretary Avtar Singh charged the PSEB with total mismanagement and inefficiency which had led to frequent upward revision of power tariff and deteriorating quality of power supply. The industry had been crippled and production losses were mounting, they said. The PSEB had enhanced the monthly minimum charges for categories of consumers but the situation of power supply had further deteriorated.

Among other demands made by CICU functionaries were the revival of disputes settlement committees, with due representation to industry, withdrawal of peak load hour restriction on units with a connected load of 50 kw and above, introduction of modified voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS) for extension of load, setting up disputes settlement authority at circle or district level and to stop the move for clubbing of connections, working in a single premises.

Mr Inderjit Singh further alleged that there were several irregularities and corrupt practices in the purchase of electronic power meters and transformers and demanded a high-level inquiry in to the deals.

Mr Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, pleaded that hosiery was a seasonal industry, working for not more than six months in a year. The monthly minimum charges, levied on hosiery and knitwear industry, were absolutely unjustified and needed to be withdrawn.

Among those present on the occasion were Mr Charan Singh Kohli, general secretary, Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association, Mr Suraj Sharma, president, Association of Focal Point Industries, Mr G.L. Pahwa, Focal Point Industries Association, Mr Dhiraj Rai Gupta, president, Ludhiana Traders and Manufacturers Association and several other office- bearers of rubber and plastic goods industry, forging industry, nut bolts manufacturers and iron and steel industry.

Mr Harish Khanna, president of LSSMA, flayed the policy of liberalisation and globalisation, being followed by the Union Government under the WTO regime, “which had thrown the entire domestic industry out of gear”. While the government had displayed a tearing hurry in the removal of quantitative restriction on imports and dereservation of items earmarked for small-scale sector, absolutely no steps were taken at any level to prepare the domestic sector of the industry for global competition.

He observed that as a result of wrong and short-sighted economic policies, influenced by bodies like the World Bank and the IMF, more than 9 lakh SSI units, out of a total of around 28.56 lakh had turned sick, which had created an unprecedented crisis and grave recession. Mr Khanna demanded a thorough review of the economic policies, affecting the small-scale industrial sector and also urged the state government to immediately intervene to improve the working of PSEB, which had further precipitated the situation through massive power cut and other restrictions on supply of power.


Moharram observed in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
Moharram, the day of mourning, was observed by a sect of the Muslims here today.

A number of Tazia processions were taken out in the Focal Point, Sherpur, Giaspura and Basti Jodhewal localities of the town. Residents of Muslim Colony in Sherpur, comprising mostly Bihari Muslim migrants, took out a Tazia procession in the afternoon. The processionists were carrying sticks and sharp-edged weapons to inflict wounds on themselves in repentance for the killing of Hassan. A good number of mourners were feverishly lashing themselves with sharp devices on their backs and chests while cries of Ya Hassan rent the air.

A small Tazia procession was also taken out from Giaspura which also culminated near Swaran Palace Cinema in Sherpur. Similar processions were also taken out from Jeewan Nagar in Focal Point and in Basti Jodhewal.


CM urged to make advisory committee
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
A number of industrial associations have urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to constitute a state-level advisory committee as laid down in the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998, at the earliest so that representatives of industry could be inducted as members to watch the interests of the industry.

In a joint press statement released here today, Mr Joginder Kumar, Mr O.P.Jindal, Mr Vinod Dhall, Mr Rajan Gupta and Mr Yash Pal Gosain, president, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, president, Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, president, Focal Point Association, and president Ludhiana Focal Point Association Phase IV-A, respectively, said that while the setting up of the Power Tariff Regulatory Authority under Mr P. S. Maan, former Chief Secretary, Punjab, was a step in the right direction, the government should constitute a state-level advisory committee as well.


Litigations on the rise in PAU
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 5
There has been a sharp rise in litigations against the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) by its employees over what they call failure of the university to redress their grievances. The litigation pertains to appointments, promotions and post-retirement benefits for the staff, forcing the university to set up a legal cell to protect its interest.

The very appointment of Dr K.S. Aulakh as Vice-Chancellor of the university has been challenged and the next hearing is scheduled in the end of this month.

The very existence of the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor which was created in November 1999, was challenged by a retired professor of the varsity who had alleged that the authorities had created the post against the rules of the university.

A pressure group of the university, opposing the post had alleged that although there was no need of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the functioning of an agricultural university, some authorities of PAU were favouring Dr K.S. Aulakh as he was a close relative of the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat.

The matter of the appointment of the Dean, Students Welfare is also in the court. A committee was constituted by the university. It was headed by Dr Kalkat and applications were invited from candidates for the post. Dr Sinderjit Singh Gill was appointed the DSW unanimously by the committee. The post of DSW was lying vacant in the university at that time and the authorities had in a meeting of the Board of Management has asked it for filling of the post as the Dean, PGS was officiating as DSW.

According to sources, when Dr Gill was appointed DSW the Board of Management did not give its nod for his appointment as six months had already passed after his appointment, when the matter was discussed in the meeting of the board. The board asked the authorities to renotify it. Dr Gill went to the court and the case was stayed by it. The next hearing of the case is scheduled to be on April 24.

The appointment of Dr J.S. Samra, Director, Seeds, has also been challenged by Dr S. S. Gill, a Professor of Seed Science and Technology. Similarly the appointments of the heads of various departments including Entomology, Horticulture and Animal Nutrition have also been challenged. In another case the appointment of Mr Malvinder Singh as Estate Officer was challenged by Mr R. S. Cheema. Mr Cheema in his petition had alleged that the appointed person did not fulfill the requirement of minimum qualification.

The case was decided against the university and the appointment was cancelled. Interestingly, according to sources the board of management of PAU had in a meeting expressed concern over the rise in number of litigations and advised the authorities to settle cases outside the court by satisfying the litigants.

A committee was constituted by the university on the board’s directions consisting of Registrar and Controller but it failed to do anything. Then a Legal Cell was set up by the university three months ago.

The Registrar, Mr Alok Shekhar said “the Legal Cell had been set up only to take good care of the cases.” He said, “Actually it was me and the Vice-Chancellor who used to take care of the cases. But to ensure transparency and for better judgement the university had set up the Legal cell.”

He however, said in the absence of the required data it was not possible to say that the litigations were on the rise.


Sex-determination test business flourishes 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
Pre-natal sex-selection techniques, an offshoot of the advancement in science mark the beginning of a dangerous era of “customised babies”. The technology of being able to pre-select the sex of the children came from developed countries as a preventive measure to eliminate sex-linked diseases. Unfortunately, Indian society has adopted the technique for making an ‘all male society’ and doctors practising these techniques are doing brisk business by cashing in on people’s desire to have a male offspring.

The practice of getting the sex of the child known before birth is rampant. Dr B.S.Shah of Department of Pathology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital says that though he strongly opposes the practice of selectively going in for a male child, he says that about 5 per cent of couples planning a child approach doctors with a desire to have a male child.

Dr Shah told Ludhiana Tribune that it was really regretful that people who claimed to have “modern thinking” also had the traditional priority for sons. The clientele who approached doctors included both rural and urban, literates and illiterates. Dr Shah said that a majority of people opting for this technique included couples, who in the past had had four or five daughters and undergone a number of abortions to get a male child. Surprisingly, there are some who have had a son extra, but wanted to have another male child.

Dr Shah held women responsible for termination of female foetuses. He also alleged that people indulging in this practice were minting money by fooling their patients after giving them an assurance of 90 to 95 per cent success rate, even though the method was only 75 per cent successful.

According to the latest census reports, there has been an alarming drop in female ratio in Punjab. Earlier, the person was female infanticide, but now, with the virulent use of technology female foeticide in the city has been a contributory factor.

Another doctor on condition of anonymity, said that it was a pure demand and supply business. Because there is demand for male children in the city, such clinics were proliferating.

The doctor said that the cost of treatment was high. The success rate was 75 per cent for couples wanting male child. Thus couples often went back to doctors and paid anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 to have a boy.

Dr Suman Puri, senior consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, said that the technique, if used for finding genetically-linked diseases could be useful, as there were over 350 genetic disorders that afflicted only male offsprings, which included hemophilia, forms of muscular dystrophy and others.

Dr Puri said that under the treatment, ovulation inducing drugs are given to the patient and timing of ovulation is then judged by an ultrasound equipment. After the X-Y separation of male reproductive fluid, an intra-uterine implant is done through a special canula. Fertilization takes place only if the ova is released. Dr Puri said that it takes upto three cycles for a successful result.

Dr Puri said that desire of people to get a male child remained the same, however, the reasons may have changed. Earlier people used to think that invaders would violate the modesty of girls, then people wanted to eliminate girls because law provided them equal share and now the fear of dowry at the time of girl’s marriage restricts people from having a girl child.


1 killed, 3 injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Khamano, April 5
One person was killed and three others were injured in a head on collision between a Tata Sumo and a tipper near Ranwan village on GT Road, near here yesterday. The injured have been admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

According to reports four persons — ASI Shavinder Singh, Head Constable Tirath Singh, Kulwant Singh and Devinder Singh were on way to Chandigarh on official work in a Tata Sumo (No. PB-02-W5056) when it collided head on with a tipper (No. HR-08-976). The driver of the tipper fled from the scene after the accident. The four persons travelling in the Sumo were badly injured and the vehicle was also damaged. The injured persons were rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, yesterday at about 5 p.m. within a few minutes of the accident where ASI Shavinder Singh succumbed to the injuries.

Khamano police has registered a case in this connection against the tipper driver under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 304A of the IPC.


Domestic violence on the rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
Cases of domestic violence in the city have registered an increase of over 50 per cent this year as compared to the last year.

The S.S.P., Mr Kuldip Singh revealed that the city topped in cases of domestic violence all over Punjab. Earlier the police never used to register the cases of domestic violence but since the past two years, the police has started registering such cases and with the result now even the cases of domestic violence which occurred 10 years ago are also being brought to the fore front. “The police”, he said, “has started ‘marriage dispute cell’ manned by both a male and a lady sub inspector. The women are battered not only by the husbands but, in some cases, also by the entire family, the trend indicates. The major cause of domestic violence is insufficient dowry”. Mr Kuldip Singh said, “Domestic violence is not confined to economically weaker section of society, but even educated working women bring in complaints of violence. We are a law enforcing agency, so our job is to register the cases and definitely the situation is getting alarming.”

But still a large number of cases go unreported as women do not report the violence due to social pressures and keep suffering silently.

Women from economically weaker families who work as domestic help are generally victims of the wrath of their husbands. Who find them to be handy punching bags to take out their frustrations.

Dr. Gursharan (not her real name), an MD, was beaten by her doctor husband as he was jealous of her good looks. He not only beat his wife but also his daughter and his mother-in-law and turned them out of the house in the middle of the night. She registered a case with the police. At the police station , one constable said to another “Yaar enha nu te ‘Dil Ek Mandir’ film dikhao. Pade likhe dono doctor hain tavin mar kutai karde hain”. She says that she felt extremely humiliated as everyone looked at her as if she was the one to be blamed.

According to experts, the possible causes of wife beating are lack of enough resources, frustration, extra marital affairs, lack of trust, insufficient dowry and sometimes jealousy if the woman is more educated and brings in more money.

“What the Ludhiana Police is doing is good, but it is not enough. The NGOs have to take up programmes for education of women. Alongwith education, moral strength and sense of independence needs to be instilled right from the very beginning so that women can learn to stand against male dominance. Parents and the family should provide full support to any such victim of domestic violence”, says Ms Raj Rani who lost her daughter because she did not reach out to her when she needed her help due to fear of social stigma.

“The society must play an active role and should not allow woman to continue to suffer such indignities”, says Karuna Dasgupta, a social worker.


City women welcome imported goods
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
Though the opening up of imports has caused a furore in the local industry, women here are thrilled as imported stuff has already started arriving in the city. A local ladies club put up a sale of Chinese good, barely six days after the exim policy was announced.

The exhibition at the club comprises Chinese bed covers, table mats, dining sheets, cushion covers and colourful dust bins.

The organiser of the exhibition believes that Ludhianvis have always been careful while buying things for their houses. Though she has been organising such exhibitions for the past three years, the response this year is good. Imported linen is bit expensive compared to Indian but the quality of things is superior, colours are fast and designing is impressive.

The material used for these things include polyester, pure cotton, polyester satin, colourful laces in different pastel shades of pink, yellow, green and purple. “Every item of Chinese linen is made by Chinese artisans without taking help of machines,” the organiser said.

The range of table mats starts from Rs 120 to Rs 185 per piece. The ‘runners’ for the dining table cost about Rs 350. The dining sheets vary from Rs 1500 to Rs 14,000. Small ‘dollies’ range from Rs 45 to Rs 65.

“The clientele has always been encouraging and good. Ludhiana women wait for such exhibitions. Women come and ask for more imported items due to the recent exim policy announcement,” she added.



Farmer alleges police excesses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 5
A farmer of Koom Kalan village has alleged high-handedness of officials of the police post in the village who ‘openly’ supported certain persons involved in a land dispute with him. The farmer has also claimed of having suffered a huge financial loss as due to his alleged harassment, he could not harvest ripe sugarcane crop.

The police have, however, denied the allegations and counter-alleged that the farmer was cooking up the story. However, it has been admitted that a police party escorted by certain other persons did go to the fields of the farmer, Gurdeep Singh, but denied he was beaten or his tractor-trailer was damaged.

The farmer in a written complaint to the SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh has urged him to intervene in the matter and redress his grievance. He has also demanded strong action against the guilty cops.

According to his complaint letter, he owns land in the village and has a running dispute with Nirmaljit Singh. He said he has got a stay order from the court and was harvesting the crop on April 1 when four persons — Nirmal Singh, Gian Singh, Mukhtiar Singh and Dhindi, along with a number of police constables, arrived on the scene and forcibly stopped him from the work.

He alleged that when he showed them the stay orders he was pushed around and the tyres of his tractor trailer was also damaged. The trolley was full of sugarcane which he was going to transport to a sugar mill. However, the police forced him to take the trailer (with flat tyres) to the police station where it still stands along with the crop.

The farmer said all his pleas that he has got the stay orders were not heeded to. He also requested the police to release his crop lest he will suffer huge financial loss as the deadline of supplying it to a sugar mill will be lost, but to no avail.

When contacted, Mr Naranjan Singh in-charge police post, Koom Kalan, denied that the police had compounded the trailer. He counter-alleged that the farmer had himself parked the trailer outside the police station to frame a case against the police. He admitted that the police had gone to his fields but denied they beat the farmer. He said when they saw the stay orders they came back.


YC mobilising ranks for rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
The District Youth Congress (DYC) organised a series of meetings here to prepare for the April 11 rally, being organised by the Punjab Pradesh Congress in the city to focus on the constituent parties of the NDA government at the Centre, headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Addressing a meeting of block presidents of the YC at the residence of Mr Sarbjit Singh Bunty, senior vice- president of DYC here today, district president, Parminder Mehta, claimed that more than 1 lakh party workers and members of the public are likely to attend the rally. Party leaders will present before the public, the “true face” of the BJP and other constituent parties of the government, he added.

Mr Akshay Bhanot, district chairman of the urban development cell of the YC, while addressing a meeting at Pakhowal Road here charged the BJP and its allies with betraying the masses and compromising the security of the nation through corrupt practices in arms deals. “While the nation was facing grave problems of poverty, unemployment, economic recession and illiteracy, government functionaries were busy in filling their personal coffers at the cost of people and the armed forces.”

Those present at the meeting took a vow to work for bringing the Congress Party back to power and to rid the nation of “corrupt, inefficient and indifferent coalition of parties with divergent views”.


Vyas promises better amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust Chairman, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, said the trust was committed to provide better amenities to the city residents through its various residential and commercial schemes.

Addressing a function after laying the foundation stone of 57 MIG flats to be constructed by the LIT in its Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar scheme, Mr Vyas explained in detail about various ongoing schemes of the trust. He said work was in progress on two ultra modern commercial complexes at Rani Jhansi Road and Pakhowal Road.

According to Mr A.K. Kansal, Trust Engineer, the construction of flats will be completed within 30 months. A number of senior officers of the trust and other dignitaries were present at the occasion.


Camp for child labour
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 5
A camp for child labourers was organised at the local police station by Baba Sen Bhagat society in association with the Lions Club Vishal Khanna, here yesterday.

The chief guest for the occasion, Mr Ram Singh, SP (OPR), while addressing the children attending the camp said that they should not have any fear of the police as the police was for their protection. He assured these children that if any employer harassed them , they could complaint to the police and immediate action would be taken.

The children were examined by Dr Punj and Dr Jasbir Singh . Medicines were given to them free of cost.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh, secretary general NGO, Punjab; M.P.S. Shocker, DSP, Khanna and Lions president, Sarjeevan Bansal were also present on the occasion.

A documentary film on child labour produced by UNICEF was also shown to these children at the police station.


Man murders wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 5
The division number 6 police has arrested Ajay Kumar, a resident of Nepal, on charges of murdering his young wife, yesterday morning. The accused, who lived in Janta Nagar and worked in a factory, was arrested on the spot. He was seen strangulating his wife, Mamta, about 17-year-old, by Mr Bikramjit Singh, owner of the factory.

According to an FIR registered at the police station, Ajay Kumar had recently married Mamta and brought her here from Nepal. However both had developed serious differences in a short time, which allegedly led to her murder. Later, other persons also arrived on the scene and nabbed the accused, who was handed over to the police.


Youth commits suicide by hanging
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 5
Randhir Singh aged 24 years, of Khatran village, near here, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan today at his house.

The dead body has been handed over to the legal heirs after a postmortem was conducted in the local hospital, Samrala.

The cause of suicide is said to be addiction of intoxicants. The local police have registered a case and started investigations.


Tendering system led to massive saving : Mayor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 5
The Municipal Corporation has, of late adopted the new system of competitive bidding through open tenders, which in turn, has led to a massive saving of more than Rs 7 crore in the work relating to construction of two flyovers at Dhuri Line Crossing and Dhandari Focal Point in the city.

Giving this information, the City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal informed that earlier, the MC was getting such works done through Public Works Department (B&R) Punjab, which charged 14 per cent over and above the estimated cost as ‘departmental charges’.

The technical consultants to the flyover projects M/s Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), a Government of India undertaking, had estimated the cost of the two flyovers (Dhuri Line and Dhandari) at Rs 11 crore and Rs 15 crore respectively. With the addition of departmental charges, the total cost of construction worked out to be at Rs 29.64 crore.

Mr Grewal further said that the MC had floated tenders through all important national newspapers and several top ranking companies had responded. After evaluation of the technical and financial bids, the work for construction of Dhuri line flyover was awarded to one of reputed firms, M/s Gammon India Limited, at Rs 9.51 crore, while construction of the other flyover at Dhandari was undertaken by UPSBC Limited, a Public Sector Company, for Rs 12.73 crore. In the two prestigious projects, the MC had made a net saving of Rs 7.40 crore.

Both the firms selected for the construction of the flyovers had committed to complete the construction within 15 months of the commencement of work. The work progress was satisfactory and when completed, the flyover would provide a big relief to residents, the Mayor added.

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