Sunday, May 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



SHO transferred after Akalis hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
The SHO, Sadar police station, Mr Ramandeep Singh, was today transferred to the Police Lines after a two-hour dharna was staged by the District Akali Dal in front of SSP Kuldip Singh’s residence demanding action against the cop for allegedly manhandling a youth Akali Dal leader Manpreet Singh Jung, four days ago.

According to Mr Jung, the Akali workers had not planned to stage a dharna today. They were called for talks by the SSP in the morning but received a message from him regarding cancellation of the appointment, as he said had to attend to other official work. This angered the Akali workers and they decided to stage a dharna till the SSP took action against the SHO.

The dharna began at about 10 a.m. and ended at about 12 noon, when Mr Avtar Singh Makkar received a telephone call from the SSP that action had been taken against the SHO.

The staging of the dharna was itself ironical in that, while representatives of different opposition parties had openly defended the police in its efforts of maintaining law and order in the city in a meeting with the Home Secretary Bikramjit Singh and DGP Sarbjit Singh on Thursday evening, workers of the ruling party had been staging a dharna against the police. Interestingly some of the Akali leaders who were participating in the today’s dharna had also defended the police at the meeting.

Later, talking to reporters, senior Akali Leader Harpal Singh Kohli said that during the Congress regime, it was acceptable for them to stage dharnas against the police or the government, but it was unfortunate that they had to resort to such a measure in the rule of their party.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar said he had been requesting the SSP Kuldip Singh to take action against the SHO but he was dilly-dallying on the issue.

The incident in question had takenplace on May 15. The Youth Akali leader, in a complaint to the police, had alleged that SHO Ramandeep Singh and his gunmen had beaten him up at the Sadar police station, where he had gone to inquire about the progress in a case. The allegation was refuted by the SHO, who said that the Akali Leader misbehaved with him and used foul language in front of several persons and also obstructed him in discharge of duties.

A day of mixed fortunes for SI

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Sub-Inspector Ramandeep Singh who was till morning serving as SHO Sadar Police Station.

While on one hand he was hogging media limelight for his acts of valour in arresting two alleged murderers in Ghumar Mandi on Thursday night and on nabbing two other robbers after a hot chase last night, on the other he was handed over transfer orders to the Police Lines for his alleged act of manhandling an Akali Leader.

The transfer came in the wake of a dharna staged in front of the residence of SSP Kuldip Singh today morning.

Interestingly, the orders reflect different sets of rules for different police officials. While Sub Inspector Warryam Singh was given prize posting of In charge CIA, even though he was under fire for the custodial death in the Haibowal Police Station, Ramandeep Singh was allegedly transferred under political pressure.Back


BJP loses ground on elevated road project
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
In a development which was bound to have far reaching political ramification in the coming civic elections scheduled for next year, BJP councillors were isolated in the general House meeting of the Municipal Corporation here yesterday. Over the issue of the elevated road project, the party not only lost face and political ground, but also the trust of the SAD — its alliance partner in the MC.

The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, though normally described as somewhat lacking in political far sight, sprung such a surprise upon the BJP group that a vertical division was created within the House, with the BJP councillors cornered. So much so that as the unrelenting Mayor insisted on taking up all the agenda items, including the one on the elevated road project, brought at the last moment through a supplementary agenda, the BJP councillors had to act like an opposition party, shouting slogans and sitting on a dharna in the meeting room.

The district unit of the BJP, led by Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, has been vociferously opposing the project, which they claim was an extravagant and wasteful expenditure. They disagree with the plea that the elevated road, like many other flyovers, whether being constructed or proposed to be built in future in the city, were needed as a long-term measure to cope with the expected increase in traffic and vehemently demand putting things in the proper perspective and fixing priorities.

Lack of basic civic amenities like water supply, sewerage and streetlights, they maintain had to be tackled before the MC could indulge in funding projects, which might prove their usefulness after many years.

However, the truth of the matter is that the BJP group and Mr Grewal have been involved in a cold war for quite sometime, with the two not letting any opportunity go by to show the other in bad light. Some BJP councillors, talking to Ludhiana Tribune on condition of anonymity, remarked that the party leadership felt humiliated, not over the issue of the road project being brought before the House, which in any case had to be discussed, but the manner in which the MC administration pushed it through a supplementary agenda. “To add insult to injury, the item (relating to elevated road) had signatures of 51 councillors, belonging to all other parties, except the BJP, appended to it.”

As a last ditch attempt of damage control, the BJP group leader of councillors Mr Pran Bhatia, and the district president, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, have demanded cancellation of all resolutions, adopted in the general House meeting on May 18. 


PAU scientist to be honoured in Sydney today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, senior soil Scientist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will be awarded the International Fertiliser Award-2001 at Sydney tomorrow. Dr Aulakh becomes the first Indian to be bestowed with the prestigious award which has been conferred upon scientists from selected countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Israel, Brazil and China.

This award is being conferred upon Dr Aulakh for his outstanding research in the development of economically viable environmental friendly plant nutrient management technologies for sustainable crop productivity. His research on balanced nutrition of crops using appropriate source, time and method of fertiliser application has led to judicious use of fertilisers and environmental benefits by reduced groundwater nitrate contamination and emissions of greenhouse gases causing global warming.

His findings of using reduced fertiliser rates in cropping sequences due to the availability and utilisation of residual fertiliser nutrients led to substantial savings of fertilisers. He has also developed techniques for assessing nutritional deficiencies and greenhouse gas emissions leading to better understanding of certain unresolved issues posing challenges to the soil scientists.

Dr Aulakh’s research contributions are globally acclaimed. His research has already won him several state, national and international awards.

The International Fertiliser Award will be presented to him at the opening session of the Annual Conference of International Fertilisers Association (IFA) being held from May 20 to 26 at Sydney in Australia. Dr Aulakh will address a galaxy of fertiliser producers and researchers from all over the world.

Dr Aulakh will present a lecture on “Development of economically viable and environmentally friendly plant nutrient management technologies for sustainable crop production.” After the conference, Dr Aulakh will also visit few institutes and universities of Australia and Malaysia and had been invited to deliver a seminar in famous Institute of Land Resources at University of Melbourne.

Award for PAU professor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Dr S.Roy, Professor, Home Science Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, has been selected for the International Service Award by Ohio State University, USA. She is an alumnus of Ohio State University. She has been engaged in many major research projects at the national the level.Back


2 arrested for looting liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , May 19
In a swift action, a team of the Sadar Police Station managed to catch two of the four robbers who had allegedly robbed two liquor vends in two villages last night. Jaswant Singh and Pargat Singh two alleged robbers, were caught after hot pursuit by a team of Sadar police station led by SHO Ramandeep Singh at about 11.30 p.m. last night. The accused, along with two others, had allegedly looted Rs 11,000 from a liquor vend in Jhanda village, on the outskirts of the city on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore road.

After this, they allegedly went to a liquor vend in Pamal village and robbed of Rs 4,000 from there. Both the robberies were allegedly committed at gun point. However, an employee of the first liquor vend informed the Sadar police station over phone. A police party chased them and intercepted the two. The accused have reportedly confessed to committing at least five robberies, including one at a sugar mill in Jagraon recently.


Keeping kids away from mischief
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 19
Summer vacations bring, relief as well as opportunities for tiny-tots. Most city schools are already closed for the summer break, while others are scheduled to close shortly. Parents want to keep their children busy and interactive throughout their holidays. And they are looking for the best opportunities available for their kids.

A number of alternatives are always available to children. Some kids prefer to spend holidays with their grandparents while others go on a holiday to some distant relative. But due to a change in people’s thinking in recent times, parents now want their kids to properly utilise their time by keeping them busy in some extracurricular or recreational activities.

Most of the children prefer to indulge in courses which are full of fun and activity. Even parents think that these courses would lend an outlet to the child’s logical, analytical and creative skills.

“I want something that provokes keen interest and instils confidence, without pressuring the delicate mind of my daughter”, says Ms Payal, mother of a six-year-old girl, Stuti.

Children have their own preferences. Most of the small children want to join hobby classes for music, dance and painting during holidays. Young children indulge themselves in various indoor and outdoor games in the vacations. Children can also have fun from the movies which are being screened in the cinema halls during the week long Children’s Film Festival.

These days, various kids clubs are mushrooming in the city, which are no doubt a hot favourite with children. Short courses of 7 to 10 days for children between the ages of three to fourteen are also an option. Children are taught Windows operations on animated software. They are also taught the basics of internet.

Several city schools have arranged special summer training camps during holidays. Besides giving basic knowledge of music, dance, art and craft, they have arranged special theme courses for tiny-tots, which will encourage the spirit of of competitiveness among children. Ms Preeti Garewal of Hollyhock Nursery School, emphasised the need for such courses. She said, “The theme courses enable them to explore the world of science, art and craft”. The children between three to ten years of age will learn social etiquettes during the theme courses.

With so much choice available to kids today, holidays are no longer a boring affair. In fact, Stuti echoes what most kids say, “There is so much to do in such a short time. I wish the vacations were longer”.


Residents cry for basic amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
In a classic case of utter neglect, apathy and indifference of the Municipal Corporation, thousands of residents of Kabir Nagar and adjoining localities on the Daba road in ward No 24 are denied basic civic amenities. There is no piped water supply for clean drinking water, no sewerage system and no pucca roads. The streets and drains are virtually non-existent and the pedestrians, as well as the motorists, have to use all their skills to manoeuvre the pot-holed and muddy roads, which become difficult to move on during the rainy season.

The residents lament that complete lack of streetlights in the area further aggravate the situation and bad roads, coupled with absence of drainage system, have led to many a road accidents.

Says Mr Bhajan Singh Bhumra, President, Samaj Sudhar Mohalla Action Committee, “Since sewerage system has been partly laid, there is no provision for disposal of water in street Nos. 11, 12 and 13. Water coming out of the houses, not only makes the streets muddy and slippery, but the stagnating pools of dirty water prove breeding grounds for mosquitoes, flies and other insects and pose serious health hazards to the people.

The colony, which adjoins the industrial belt, says another resident Amarjit Kaur, has no potable water. Residents have no choice but to use the “yellowish, poisonous (tezabi)” water coming out of hand pumps. As a result, the threat of an epidemic, particularly the water-borne diseases looms large on our heads. Not only this, the alarming level of environmental pollution, caused by adjoining industrial units, is another potential threat. The unpaved streets and roads have visible layers of black soot, which flies into houses and mixes with the air, causing more pollution.

Several residents — Jarnail Singh, Daljit Singh and Harjit Singh, complain that there persistent pleas with the MC authorities have failed to yield any positive results so far. They have also submitted a petition, signed by a large number of residents of the colony to Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, for initiating effective steps to provide water supply, sewerage and streetlights to improve the living conditions of the people in these localities.

The area councillor, Mr Santokh Singh, however, claims that work was already on to mitigate the sufferings of the residents. He told Ludhiana Tribune that main sewer lines had already been laid. Two tubewells were already commissioned in Gurpal Nagar Street No 8 and Fauji Colony, which were yet to be energised. One overhead water reservoir was under construction, which was expected to be completed by May 31. A sum of Rs 61 lakh was already spent for sewerage and water supply, which would be available soon to the area residents.

Commenting on pathetic condition of roads and streets, the councillor observed that once the distribution system for water supply was laid in the area, the construction of roads and streets would be taken up, for which estimates worth Rs 39 lakh stood approved.


Foundation damaged, construction yet to begin

Ahmadgarh, May 19
The foundation stone of a stadium, which was laid by the Sports Minister, Punjab, Mr. Nusrat Ali Khan, at Chhanna village adjoining this town about two years ago, has been damaged while the construction of the stadium is yet to begin.

Villagers and residents of this grain-market town were also happy because the town also lacked a stadium though it has a couple of spacious playgrounds at Gandhi School and Khalsa School.

After laying the stone the minister had declared that a grant would be soon sent to the village panchayat on the condition that the villagers must prepare a level field on their own first.

Nearly 10 residents of the village then got together and got a pond filled and a level field prepared with the help of earth movers. They spent more than Rs 40,000 on levelling the field which was extended by including some portion of the village cremation ground on the outskirts of the village.

Only wrestling and kabaddi matches among teams from neighbouring villages have been held here on a couple of occasions as no infrastructure is required for holding these events .

The villagers, who have lost all hopes of receiving the promised grant, are critical of the Sports Minister who belongs to Malerkotla. ‘‘The minister has failed to deliver the goods’’, says a disenchanted former supporter of the Minister.

‘‘ Why did he go back on his word regarding the stadium?’’, asks an angry villager.

‘‘Maybe someone in the next government would realise the need of the area and get the stadium built. Till then, the village may have to make do with an open level field only‘‘, says another villager.


Akali leader distributes cheques
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Senior Akali leader and former minister, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal today distributed cheques worth Rs five lakh among various panchayats in Kila Raipur assembly segment for developmental works. The cheques were provided by the All India Shiromani Akali Dal president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, from his Local Area Development Fund, allocated to each Member of the Parliament.

The cheques were distributed in Sayan Kallan, Maherna, Pohir and several other villages of the assembly segment, for the construction and repair of roads and drains. Developmental work will be carried out by the village panchayats. Mr Tohra had provided the money on the request of Mr Grewal.

While distributing the cheques, the senior Akali leader regretted that although enjoying the privilege of having elected two chief ministers, Justice Gurnam Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Kila Raipur had remained backward as nobody seemed to care for people over there.

He pointed out, Kila Raipur had always elected an Akali representative to the legislative assembly and currently it was represented by Mr Jagdish Garcha, Minister for Technical Education in the Badal government, still the area remains ignored. He alleged that instead of taking care of people’s problems, Mr Garcha was trying to create factionalism in the ranks of Akali workers.

Mr Grewal said, the roads were damaged and the school buildings were in a bad shape. There was acute scarcity of water. He reminded the Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal of his commitment at the first sanghat darshan in 1997, which still remained unfulfilled. Mr Badal was elected from Kila Raipur, besides Gidderbaha in Faridkot district. He had retained the Gidderbaha seat and resigned from Kila Raipur which was later won by Mr Jagdish Garcha.

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal assured the people of the area that Mr Tohra had always felt concerned about their welfare. It was the result of that concern that he had provided money from his MP’s fund for the developmental purposes.


Forum penalises BSNL
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to pay Rs 5,000 along with Rs 500 as cost of litigation on account of deficiency in services to Mr Kishan Singh, a resident of Subhash Nagar.

According to the complaint, a telephone connection (606903) installed in the shop of a consumer which was essential for running his business generally remained out of order. The consumer stated before the forum that he had complained many times and every time Nigam officials had perhaps set the telephone in order in their records only. It was alleged that the nigam officials had recorded on October 29, 2000, that the telephone connection had been restored, but actually the phone was not set right.

The consumer maintained that he came to know that his complaint had been ignored, when he complained the next day, on the computerised complaint service of the nigam and was given a new complaint number (570), ignoring his earlier complaint (379) without any action having been taken on the old complaint.

The consumer pointed out that the computerised complaint service could not give new complaint number till the earlier compliant had been executed. He alleged that to mention that the telephone had been set right without actually executing the complaint was clear deficiency of service the part of the department. He further disclosed that all this was done to debar him from availing of the rent rebate.

The BSNL pleaded that the consumer, was not a “consumer” as he had been using the telephone for business purposes. The nigam admitted to the installation of telephone on the premises of the consumer. However, it was denied by the nigam that the telephone remained out of order or that any entries were made in the records regarding the defect having been removed, when actually the telephone had still not been repaired.

The forum observed that as per the fault card, the telephone had remained faulty for a fairly long time and as such, there was a clear deficiency of services on the part of the BSNL. The forum held that the consumer should be given rent rebate for the period during which the telephone had remained non-functional. The forum further directed it to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation and Rs 500 as cost of complaint to the consumer.


Traffic blocked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 19
Residents of Bhatian village, mostly women, blocked traffic for more than two hours on the GT road, Khanna, in protest against the death of a man in an accident in which a gypsy of local private octroi contractors was involved. They demanded immediate arrest of all the occupants of the vehicle including the driver. Residents alleged that octroi contractors chase people carelessly by rash driving on the roads. They also condemned the local police for arriving late at the spot. 

According to the information available, Ujagar Singh of Kot Sekhan village was coming on his moped (PB 26A 3314) with his wife when a gypsy of octroi contractors hit the moped. He fell down on the road and was crushed by a milk tanker which was coming from Ludhiana side

The driver of the tanker surrendered himself before the police, but the gypsy occupants fled away from the scene.

Senior police officials including the DSP, Khanna, Mr Mohinder Pal Singh Shokkar, and the SP (OP), Mr Ram Singh, reached on the spot and people to arrest the guilty.
The crowd later burnt an octroi kiosk and tore their receipt books.


Cottons are cool but costly
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
In this part of the country, you need to have two kinds of clothes — one for the summer and the other for the winter. The summer trends in clothes are affected by the fashion in the western world. The clothes of the modern girls are becoming skimpier and revealing. Boys and girls are wearing shorts with well-known brand names.

A survey of the leading and non-so-leading fashion stores in Ludhiana has revealed that all shops are well stocked with cool cottons. And if you think cotton comes cheap, think again. Cotton vests for babies are priced at Rs 75 onwards. Brand names sell more than the local products, and they are more expensive.

Cottons are in great demand. College boys are going for wrinkle-free cotton trousers, no matter if these are expensive. Businessmen are also preferring the comfort of cotton trousers. In fact, most of the brand names are using fine cotton fabric for shirts as well as trousers.

Nikhil and Sushas, two college students, said: “We prefer jeans that can withstand rough wear. We wear cotton trousers only on formal occasions. For weddings in the family we have to go for kurta-pyjama ensemble with a jacket. It is cumbersome, but there is no choice.

Nargis, Chetna, Priyanka, a trendy teenager trio, said: “We love to wear short tops with mega sleeves”. Capri trousers (ankle length) are also in vogue. Short skirts are also a hit with teenagers, though jeans are the all-time favourities. Summer is not the time for wearing heavy make-up, but girls do invest in perfumes.

Frocks, baba suits and baba bloomers all are made out of cotton fabric but these are definitely costly. For children, cotton suits and achkan are finding many buyers.

The market is flooded with varieties of cotton fabric at reasonable rates. The trend is to mix and match a lacy shirt with a plain salwar or wear a plain cotton suit with a printed odhni. Laces are being added to the garments to give it a summerish look.

From the newly born to adults, cool cottons, cool mulmuls are making the fashion statement this year.


BJP hails concessions for industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
The district unit of the BJP has welcomed the concessions announced by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, during his ‘sangat darshan’ with the industry here on Tuesday.

Presiding over a meeting of the party office-bearers, the district president Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, expressed confidence that with the formation of zone and circle-level dispute settlement committees of the Punjab State Electricity Board, the relations of the industry and the PSEB would improve and the disputes would be solved amicably and speedily. The party further observed that other concessions like extension in the date of application for self-assessment, strengthening the facilities for modernisation, research and development centres would give impetus to quality production of hosiery goods, bicycles, sewing machines and auto parts.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, while hailing certain concessions granted to the industry by the government, has pointed out that the Chief Minister, had failed to address the vital issues of power tariff and problems of an industry related to the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC).

Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the association, said in a statement that the issues of enhanced compensation and extension fee in Focal Point, Phase VIII, here were hanging fire for the past several years.

Even though the PSIEC had recovered around Rs 2.13 crore by way of enhanced compensation, the industry was yet to be provided with basic infrastructure and amenities. 


Industry resents MC notices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Mr Joginder Kumar, President, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, in a press statement issued here today decried the notices issued by health officials of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, regarding the removal of industrial waste under 283 Section (B) (a) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.

He pointed out that the issue was discussed at a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Mr Parkash Singh Badal wherein Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament, had pointed out that the corporation had not provided any dustbins in Industrial Areas A and B, Industrial Estate and Focal Points so that the factory owners could put the waste in them. It was the duty of the MC to provide dustbins for the proper disposal of industrial waste.

He urged upon the Chief Minister , Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, to direct Municipal Commissioner to withdraw such notices and arrange adequate dustbins in all areas and don’t harass the small industrialists.Back

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