Wednesday, May 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Illegal structures around Baddowal ammunition depot to be razed
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The district administration has decided to demolish all illegal structures, mostly big marriage palaces, within a 1,000-yard radius of the 17 Field Ammunition Depot at Baddowal near here. This follows a March 19 decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Preparations for the demolition have already begun. Sources in the administration said, in the first phase of the drive, fresh notices of demolition had been issued to six persons who had built structures within this radius. These 15-day notices are likely to be served tomorrow.

After the High Court order, the district administration began planning its execution. There are over 400 illegal structures within 1,000 yards of the 17 FAD. However, in the first phase, notices will be issued only to owners of marriage palaces that are dangerously close to the ammunition depot.

Sources said, the notices that were to be issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, who had been made a collector, asked owners of the illegal structures to demolish these within 15 days of receiving the notices. If they fail to do this, the administration will demolish the buildings.

Meanwhile, the affected persons that mostly include owners of marriage palaces, have challenged the High Court decision in the Supreme Court. However, the SC has only given a date for the next hearing in July and not a stay order as sought by the owners.

Though the district administration was anticipating such a drive after the High Court order, the latest fire incident at the Pathankot ammunition dump prompted the it to take a quick decision.

Sources in the administration said owners of the marriage palaces had been asked not to reply after receiving the notices, but demolish the structures themselves. The order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court is clear on this issue.

Meanwhile, some persons who claim that they represent residents of Ludhiana, have demanded that the ammunition depot should be shifted. They said a high RCC wall could be erected around the depot to meet the safety standards and solve the problem.



Trade unions seek better deal for workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
May Day was observed here today by a number of trade unions in the private and public sector. The unions organised seminars, meetings and cultural programmes to raise various labour issues. Thousands of workers attended these functions. Most of the unions criticised the policies of the state and central government and demanded better facilities for the workers in the organised and unorganised sectors.

Mr Jagjit Singh, leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, while participating in a May Day rally criticised the state government for ignoring the interests of the workers and agriculture labourers in the state.

Mr Mangat Ram Paslan, former MP and a senior leftist leader, while addressing the United Council of Trade Unions, at the railway station, said,‘‘ Both the Congress and the BJP-led government at the Centre were working against the interests of the working class. Thousands of industrial units have closed down in the country due to the opening of cheap imports and dumping of foreign goods in the market. The Akali Dal (Badal), that opposes the WTO, is supporting the treaty in Parliament.’’

A joint rally was organised by textile, hosiery, paledari and brick-kiln unions at Transport Nagar after hoisting flags at their factories. Addressing the rally, Mr Chander Shekhar, state general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said,‘‘ The government was trying to implement retrogressive labour laws under the pressure of MNCs and big industrial houses. Minor facilities that have been received after a long battle in the past years are being taken back. The workers will struggle to safeguard their interests.’’

He announced that an awareness drive was being launched in Punjab against the WTO. Mr Tarsem Jodhan, another union leader, called upon the workers to fight back to save the farmers and small-scale sector.

Later, addressing the Lal Jhanda FCI Workers Union at Sahnewal, Mr Chander Shekhar said, “The employers were still taking work for 16-18 hours from the workers. The state and centre budget have given relief to the industrialists and rich people worth thousands of crores. But the workers were over-burdened with direct and indirect taxes, besides cut in interest rates on small savings.’’

A rally was organised in front of the labour office at Gill road by four trade unions, Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Democratic Rights Sabha, Punjab, Inquilabi Kendra, Punjab, All India Nepali Ikta Samaj jointly. Two plays, ‘Aapna Diwas’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ were staged by the Art Theatre, Ludhiana, under the direction of Mr Hira Singh Randhawa.

INTUC and Subordinate Services Federation, INTUC, celebrated May Day at Haibowal Labour Shed. Mr Harnam Das Johar, former Speaker, Punjab State Legislative Assembly, criticised the industrialists of the city who were exploiting migrant labourers. The workers were not provided any medical facility.

Mr D.P. Maur, President, PAU Employees Union, addressing the staff said,‘‘ The workers should oppose the anti-labour measures of the government that are being followed under the WTO regime.’’ Mr Bant Singh Brar, general secretary of AITUC, while addressing another rally of workers criticised the government’s decision to sell the profit-making public sector units.

Other rallies were organised by the Bhartia Mazdoor Sangh and the Employees of the Telecommunication Departments and Punjab Roadways and Pepsu Roadways staff at the bus stand. 


‘Decision to invest staff PF in Punwire was collective’
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, May 1
‘‘The decision to invest the provident fund money of the PAU employees in Punwire, a private company that later went bankrupt, was a collective decision of the Board of Management based on the recommendation of two committees, and thus no individual person was responsible for the action’’.

This is the reply prepared by the PAU authorities to the recent direction of the Comptroller and Auditor-General asking it to fix responsibility for the loss of Rs 4 crore incurred by the university in investing the General Provident Fund (GPF) and Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) of the employees in Punwire.

The university has also tried to wash its hands over the matter by stating that when the money was invested in the company, it was in good health. Moreover, the Punjab government had at that time a share of 41.72 per cent in the company, a factor which offered a sense of security to the university.

According to a copy of the reply, the statutes of the university empowers the Board of Management to manage the CPF and GPF of the employees. The board in its meeting held on September 6, 1993, further authorised the Vice-Chancellor to invest surplus funds out of the provident fund money in some beneficial scheme so as to extend maximum benefits to the employees in future.

The then Vice-Chancellor further constituted investment committee to give advice for investment. The first committee included the Dean postgraduates, as the chairman with heads of the Departments of Business Management, Economics, a professor of business management, Comptroller and special invitees, including president, Teachers’ Association, Non-Teaching and Fourth Class Union.

A second committee under the chairmanship of the Financial Commissioner Development, with members- Director, Agriculture of the government, Dean Postgraduate Studies and Director of Research PAU along with the Comptroller PAU was constituted to determine the rate of interest.

The reply further states that in 1997 the then Deputy Director, Finance Department Punjab, Mr Arvind Mahajan, advised over phone that investment in Punwire is beneficial as the state government has 42 per cent share in it. Most of the public sector undertakings have invested funds in the Punwire. The investment committee subsequently considered the financial position of the company and gave its nod to invest in it.

The lengthy reply also substantiates the claims by figures.

Mr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while endorsing the reply said the investment loss is no one’s fault.


Strange are the ways of the city police
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Mystery continues to shroud the facts of the shocking incident of the alleged molestation of a minor girl, thanks to the strange ways of the city police.

As per the sequence of events, an aggrieved city resident approaches a senior police official with a complaint of an attempt to rape or molest his minor daughter. The official promptly orders registration of the case. However, the accused person then makes a beeline to the senior official, and after a hurriedly conducted investigation by another official, most of the relevant section of the IPC are dropped.

To cap this curious way of functioning, the inquiry officer does not bother to take the statement of the girl into consideration before taking his decision. As a result of this hasty act, not only the image of the accused stands sullied in the eyes of the public, but the already traumatised victim is also made to suffer another trauma in the form of ‘dubious’ police action on her complaint.

First the Division No. 5 police, on the directions of a senior official, lodged a case of attempt to rape and use of force to outrage a girl’s modesty against the doctor.

But later in the evening DSP Gurnam Singh, after recording the statement of the doctor, decides to drop the allegation of attempt to rape. This, too, without hearing the account of the incident by the girl despite the fact that he is the inquiry officer in the case and has to record the statements of all the people concerned.

Under these speedy actions, the fact of the case remains hidden. While an Association of the Dental Doctors through its spokespersons claims that the doctor is innocent and has been victimised, the victim as per the FIR lodged claims to have already got a written apology from the doctor. Now if the doctor is believed then the first act of the police or the senior official to register a case was wrong. If the victim is believed than the speedy action of the removal of the important sections is wrong.

Meanwhile, the registration is duly highlighted in the daily crime briefing report distributed among the media. By that time the incident has already become the talk of the town. Not only is the image of the doctor affected but the hapless girl is also made to undergo the trauma of the scorning society. A shadow is also cast on the noble profession of doctors.

The girl’s family looking visibly disturbed and pained at the act of the police is not willing to talk to the police. They direct the reporters to talk to the police as what it is saying must be right. The father of the girl who claimed to have evidence of the incident in the form of the apology of the doctor has also told the police that he has once given the statement and will not produce his daughter again and again to do the same.

When asked for comments DSP Gurnam Singh said he had requested the girl’s father to bring the girl so that he can question her but the father refuses to do so. Explaining the decision to remove the important sections, he said he had recorded the statement of the doctor on the basis of which he ordered cancellation of the attempt to rape charge.



Rural industrial dream turns sour
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The rural focal point scheme has failed to click in the state. The panchayats that had donated their land to the government, hoping that the scheme would promote industrial development and employment in their areas, are now repenting. Even skilled village youths have not been able to get loans under different schemes.

Industrialists say that the government has not provided them with the promised tax reliefs for setting up units in these areas. The Akali Dal (Badal) had claimed that the scheme would bring jobs and basic amenities to villages.

Mr N. K. Gupta, head of the Indian Vegetable-Products Producers and Traders Association, has criticised the state government for not granting sales-tax exemptions to industries for setting up units in rural areas. He said, “The Punjab Government had issued a gazetted notification on June 17, 1998, offering a special package for those who wanted to set up units at rural focal points, but the Excise and Taxation Department has not issued a notification in this regard so far.”

Consequently, a number of industries that were set up at rural focal points had to be closed down. Industrialists said they had set up units in remote areas on the promises of incentives and an assured supply of electricity. Continuous power cuts, breakdown of telephone services and high transport costs have forced them to shift to cities now.

Focal points of Dehlon, Barundi and Kalakh villages are in dismal condition. The factory sheds have broken down and villagers now tie their animals under these. Mr Balwant Singh, a resident of Dehlon village, said, “The Panchayat has given away the precious common land of the village to the government. We could have earned lakhs of rupees by renting this land to farmers.”

Officials of the District Industrial Centre, nodal agency that runs the scheme, say that the scheme is good, but the government does not have funds for this and banks are not ready to cooperate with it. Mr Harbans Singh, General Manager of the DIC, said, “We are providing rural youth with training in various trades under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojna (PMRY). Most of them are successfully running their units at village focal points, but banks take a lot of time to sanction loans.”

Officials of the centre also say that some industrialists are not interested in starting production in villages at all. They have bought the plots for future use. There is a need to review the scheme.


Scramble for post of district Akali jatha chief
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 1
With the assembly elections in the state barely a year away, at the most, and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who also heads the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), indicating during his ‘sangat darshan’ programme here on Sunday last that the district Akali Jatha (Urban) will soon have a president, there is a virtual scramble among the contenders to the coveted post.

The post of the district president of the city unit of SAD (B) was lying vacant for the last more than three years since the then incumbent, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, was removed after he shifted his loyalty to the former president of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, when parting of ways took place between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra.

Hectic political activities were taking place in the camps of two staunch Badal loyalists — Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, vice-president of SAD (B), and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, who claims himself to be the acting president of the district unit, with each claiming to be the real and rightful choice of the party leadership to head the party unit and to gear up the ruling party for the forthcoming electoral battle.

Mr Bhatia, who has been involved in a continuous battle of oneupmanship with Mr Makkar, which has, at times taken an unpleasant turn, much to the discomfort and embarrassment of the senior party leaders, has brought about a slight change in his strategy and is now vigorously pushing the candidature of Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, president of Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, for the presidentship of the district Akali jatha, while Mr Makkar is also leaving no stone unturned to curry favour of party leadership and holding meetings of party activists to consolidate his base.

Amidst hectic lobbying and fight for supremacy between the contenders to the top slot in the district unit, the fierce factionalism has percolated deep down to grassroot level and even the ordinary SAD (B) workers were engaged in fierce factionalism and change in loyalties. Mr Teja Singh Khalsa, circle president of Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, has announced that he had joined SAD (B) and had expressed faith in the leadership of Mr Prtitpal Singh Pali, president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran. He alleged that local leadership of the SHSAD was anti-dalit. Along with Mr Khalsa, others who have joined the ruling Akali Dal were Mr Avtar Singh, President, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Naujawan Sabha, Mr Jagir Singh, president, All India Dharam Yudh Morcha, and Mr Piara Singh, vice-president, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Wing of SHSAD.

A joint meeting of a large number of trade associations, presided over by Mr Amarjit Singh Happy, president, Akal Market Association, has also urged the party high command to name Mr Pritpal Singh Pali as the district Akali jatha chief. Various speakers in the meeting expressed confidence that Mr Pali could provide dynamic leadership to the party ranks and safeguard the interests of all sections of people, including trade and industry.

Among others, Mr Kulwant Singh, chairman, Mr Harwinder Singh Kochar, president, Niggar Mandi Association, Mr Manjit Singh, general secretary, Electronic Association, Mr Amritpal Singh, general secretary, shoe market, Mr Gurinder Singh Jolly, general secretary, Manna Singh Nagar Manufacturers Association, Mr Som Nath Grover, general secretary, Ludhiana Citizens Council, Mr Harpal Singh, president, Chaura Bazar Association, Dr Amarjit Singh, president, Readymade Garments Association, Mr Jaswant Singh, general secretary, Ludhiana Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association, Mr Vinod Jain, president, Talab Bazar Association, Mr Sarbjit Singh, vice-president, Brown Road Shopkeepers Association, Mr Dharm Pal Singh, president, Ludhiana Finance and Chit Fund Association, Mr Paramjit Singh, president, Ludhiana Scooter Market Association, Mr Harjit Singh Mintoo, president, Small Scale Traders Association, Mr Naresh Kumar, president, Iron and Steel Association, Mr Inderjit Singh Gola, president, Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association, Mr Kuldip Singh, president, Confectionary Association, Mr Daljit Singh, general secretary, Retail Karyana Association, Mr Jasdeep Singh, president, Property Dealers Association and Mr Manjit Singh, president, Ludhiana Tailoring Association, attended the meeting.



3 injured in shootout at Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
Three persons received gunshot injuries in a clash between two families that took place in Nayi Abaadi, Khanna, here this morning.

The injured have been identified as Raminder Pal Singh , Inderjit Singh and Giani. According to police sources, some persons tried to kidnap 23-year-old Sarbjit Singh, a nephew of injured Inderjit Singh. However the youth managed to escape from them. Hearing his cries, his other relatives also came to his rescue which led to a clash between the two groups.

The police has rounded up two persons. Further investigations were on.




RAPID industrialisation in Ludhiana seems to have pushed cultural life into the oblivious background, without much ado or remorse. Although another culture influenced by the West is evolving in the megacity, the traditional symbols of our culture are fast being relegated to nostalgic memories. However, there is a silver lining. Some people in the megacity are still left with some aesthetic taste. While earlier it was the Kala Smriti headed by Satish Mahendroo which would invoke life into Ludhiana’s culture, it also went into slumber after remaining active for some time.

Now it is the Ludhiana Sanskritic Samagam (LSS) headed by Sunil Malhotra and patronised by the Hero Group of industries. Off and on the LSS organises special programmes, particularly plays presented by famous artistes and their groups. Although sometimes the response is poor, most of the times there is a huge rush of people which throng the venue. Recently, noted kathak dancer Shovana Narayan (see picture) and theatre personality Sumit Tandon (also DD news reader) stirred the aesthetic sense of Ludhianvis while presenting the play Draupadi Yudhishter, which sought to narrate the plight of Drapudi. One can only hope this trend continues for long.

Politicians’ love for garlands

Garlands and applauding supporters are known to be the main weakness of political leaders of all hues but at times some people take the fad a bit too far, leading to an embarrassing situation.

The other day former Union Minister for Social Welfare and a member of Rajya Sabha Balwant Singh Ramoowalia was re-elected president of his political outfit Lok Bhalai Party — for another term of three years at a delegate session held in the city. The summer was at its worst and sweltering heat made the life miserable, but Mr Ramoowalia, loaded with garlands, after his re-election was declared, apparently took the things coolly.

During his hour-long speech, he kept wearing the garlands and even after that when he was addressing a press conference in the office of Lok Bhalai Party, an aide had to point it out to him that it was very hot and “Pardhanji must be feeling uncomfortable” that Mr Ramoowalia removed the garlands and put them on a side table.

Use pressure horns without fear!

The violation of traffic rules in the industrial city has become a normal practice. The traffic police finds it difficult to curb the violations as they claim neither the drivers are aware about the laws nor have they manpower to check them. The other day, a young student riding on a motor cycle was sounding a pressure horn while the traffic was moving at a snail’s pace near the Domoria underbridge as usual. All the passing car drivers and scooterists were looking quite annoyed at such a high sound that was too harsh to tolerate. It was a pressure horn usually used by VIP vehicles. One of the car drivers took courage and asked the boy not to use horn but without any result. Then he asked the traffic police person, standing nearby, to stop this nuisance. The cop smiled and said, ‘‘Do you think we are here to stop the horns? If you can tolerate the noise of auto-rickshaws, what is the point of complaining about petty horns.’’

May Day with a difference

The employees of the Telecom Department had gathered at Mata Rani telephone exchange office to celebrate May Day. Surprisingly, the speeches of workers’ leaders were not filled with any venom against the capitalism or rhetoric against the anti-workers policies of the government. They talked about the unity of working class and the need to come together to save the interests of the employees. The singers sang songs exhorting the workers not to be angry with the employers and asked them to read and understand the implications of WTO to fight for their rights. One of the leaders said, ‘‘We are not putting forward any demands today. The media may think that unions have lost their utility but the day will come when the people will find the need for unions. Now we are striving to correct our mistakes and instead of demanding more wages.’’


The exposure on corruption prevalent in the highest echelons of the government may not have a deterrent affect on the corruption prevailing in the country but it has definitely made the bureaucrats more cautious. In one such instance, a government official refused to talk with a reporter about an important issue over the telephone. The reporter pleaded hard to persuade him citing his inability to come and meet him due to the approaching deadline. The official did not budge. His explanation also seemed to be inarguable. Reasoning out he said: ‘‘Now is the world of Tehelka. Who knows you would be recording my voice and picture using the latest gadgets and then using it against me or blackmailing me if you are an imposter!’’

Chalta hai

Two government departments which provide essential services to the community are competing very hard these days in the district Consumer Forum. The departments are determined to pay more compensation to the consumer for deficiency in services and make all necessary efforts to make sure that even in those cases where the consumer is at fault, the department has to pay compensation. The officials of the departments give full opportunities to the consumers to flourish at the cost of their department.

The officials are so efficient that they can flout the rules. In a maximum number of cases, the ignorance of the officials and sometimes their cooperation help the consumer to get maximum benefits while pleading their case before the forum after actually committing the offence. After getting so many directions from the forum and paying huge amount as compensation, the higher officials are still indifferent towards the level of negligence on the part of their subordinate staff, keeping in mind the old funda of ‘Sab chalta hai sarkari daftar mein’.

Who cares

Deputy Commissioner has recently ordered the cinema owners not to put obscene posters outside the cinema walls, city walls or on the city roads. He ordered that in case of violation of instructions, the concerned cinema would be closed without assigning any reason. Earlier, obscene and vulgar posters were openly displayed by the owners at city walls, cinema walls or any public place and people had complained about the ‘open vulgarity on roads’ several times. But some of the political parties, however, feel that the instructions were being violated even after the directive issued by the Deputy Commissioner and the Punjab Youth Congress is planning to counter it by stripping in public.

Shovna: humility personified

Padamshri Shovna Narayan, a very popular kathak dancer, was in the city for a dance performance and an interpretation of the long poem Yudhister and Draupdi by Pavan Kumar. While interacting with her at a press conference, one found her very articulate, humble, and down-to-earth person. Apparently all the adulation has not gone to her head. Another fact one discovered after talking with Shovna and Sunit Tandon, her co-star, was that they were both bureaucrats and incidentally the writer of the play, Pavan, is also one. Both of them said that there were many hard working, honest bureaucrats. Surprised! Most of them were delving into art, theatre, and music. The nitty-gritties of their civil life did not affect their creativity at all. They could successfully manage their taxing jobs as well as their artistic pursuits.

Novel way

The competition between the different two-wheeler companies is growing fiercer. To attract more customers, the companies have evolved novel ways of advertising. The companies have taken to road shows. In a very well made trolley, the two-wheeler is placed surrounded by colourful banners. At the end of the trolley stands a crooner mouthing the recorded jingles of the product. Close on the heels of this trolley are a number of riders on the model of the two-wheelers the company is advertising. All of them are wearing same coloured T shirts and the music is blaring away. It is quite an impressive procession and attracts quite a lot of attention, not to miss the colourfully dressed models in the making.

Theatre culture comes alive

After witnessing two plays, Taash Ke Patte, and Maa Retire Hoti Hai brought to the city by Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, the Ludhianvis finally have, to a large extent, learnt theatre culture at last. Most of the people were on time, though there were a few stragglers and they did delay the show by 15 minutes. The crowd behaved themselves as neither Shovna nor Sunit, the two main players, threatened to stop the play due to rude behaviour of the crowd .In the earlier two plays, Kadar Khan and Jaya Bachchan, were annoyed by the behaviour of some members of the audience and had threatened to stop the play. Moreover, it has now become a status symbol to be seen at the programmes of LSS. One could see veritable who’s who in Guru Nanak Bhawan on April 28 during the staging of Yudhister and Draupdi. Three cheers for Ludhianvis!



Govt discriminating against poor: Mehmi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 1
“The SAD-BJP government in Punjab has failed on all fronts and the very survival of the common man was threatened under the burden of soaring taxes, bureaucratic controls, corruption and high handedness of the administration.” This was stated by state president of the Lok Janshakti, Mr Amar Singh Mehmi, while addressing a dharna staged by party activists at mini secretariat here to register their protest against the “anti-people policies” of the government.

Mr Mehmi alleged that the government had been persistently discriminating against the poor but now when the assembly elections were just at hand, efforts were on to “mislead” and woo the electorate through doling out huge grants in sangat darshan programmes. The ruling combine, he observed, was least bothered about problems like unemployment, poverty, child labour, faulty system of education, drug addiction among youth, alarming rise in crime rate, which more or less were of its own making.

Claiming that the party will contest the forthcoming assembly elections on its own, the Lok Janshakti president maintained that the party will play a vital and decisive role in the formation of the next government in Punjab. Anti-government rallies will be organised at all district headquarters. Mr Mehmi further said that the state and district units of the party were already in place while block and ward-level units would be formed very soon to consolidate the organisational base.

Later, the party activists submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor through the district administration, calling for a high-level enquiry into acts of omission and commission by the SAD-BJP coalition government and its dismissal from office.



MC committed to providing better civic amenities: Mayor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 1
The City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, has reiterated the commitment of the civic body to provide all basic amenities to the city residents and to vigorously pursue the development works in the city to make it a better place to live in.

Addressing a function, after formally inaugurating a new 36,000 gallon tubewell in Chhawni Mohalla (ward no 68) locality here, Mr Grewal focussed on several major projects, undertaken by the Municipal Corporation in its bid to ensure supply of clean drinking water, extend sewerage facilities to the people and to improve traffic management.

The area councillor, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, informed that the tubewell, the fifth in the locality, was commissioned at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh to augment the water supply in the area.

The Mayor, earlier, dedicated the Choudhry Ram Dhan Fountain Park in the locality to public. The park, having fountains and decorative lights, have been landscaped with a great aesthetic sense and it had recently bagged second prize in the MC Flower Show.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Mr Raminder Singh, Additional Commissioner, Dr Jai Parkash, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Mr Balkar Singh, all councillors and Mr Sunil Dutt.

In another function, Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura, councillor and a member of the Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC, inaugurated two tubewells in Makkar Colony and Samrat Colony (Ward No 21). Addressing the largely attended function, Mr Giaspura assured the residents that development works will be carried out speedily and the entire population will be covered under water supply, sewerage and facilities like streetlights, good roads and drainage system would be provided in all localities. To further augment the water supply in the area, it was proposed to install three more tubewells in the ward.

He further informed that sodium lights will be provided on the Giaspura-Kanganwal road and Giaspura-Lohara Road, roads were being relaid and strengthened in Hargobind Nagar, Baba Mukand Singh Nagar and several other colonies in the ward. The project for a Rs 54 lakh stadium in Giaspura was also cleared and work would commence soon.



Salary scandal in FCI alleged
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 1
Mr Raj Singh Kheri, an ex-MLA and a leader of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha, has alleged that labourers relating to his party who are working in Khanna depot of the Food Corporation of India since January 11, 2000, have not been paid their salaries and the amount has been given to some other persons. These allegations were levelled at a press conference by Mr Kheri in the presence of Mr Raghbir Singh Badla, President, BSMO, Fatehgarh Sahib district, Mr Paramjit, President of Patiala district and Mr Avtar Singh, President, Majdoor Dal, Khanna unit.

Mr Kheri told mediapersons that he had complained to the SSP, Khanna, and the Senior Regional Manager of the FCI but nothing has been done so far.

He alleged that in 1993 the then food minister, Mr Kalpnath Rai, had announced the abolition of the contract system in the FCI depots of Punjab and three-member committees were constituted to monitor the abolition of the contract system and to recommend the labourer for disbursement of his salary. He alleged that this committee in connivance with some officials of the department, at the time of disbursing the salaries of labourers for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996 had brought labourers from other states and prepared fake documents.

He demanded in a complaint filed to the SSP, Khanna, for a thorough inquiry to check the date of birth of the casual workers.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Jalandhar police has registered a case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC in the same scandal after an inquiry conducted by the SP (H), Mr A. F. Farooki.

Mr Raj Kheri had urged Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, to hold an inquiry against the three-member committee.


Man found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
An unidentified man was found murdered in the second phase Focal Point last night. The body bore symptoms of strangulation on the neck with a rope. Similar marks were also found on hands and other parts of the body.

The Focal Point police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC. The police is trying to establish the identity of the man. The task has, however, become difficult as the man was wearing only undergarments.

The police said that the man appeared to be of Nepali origin.

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