Sunday, August 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Sap-sucking pest dashes farmers’ hopes
Paddy crop under serious threat
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
Paddy farmers of the district are facing a serious threat from a sap-sucking insect that has attacked a large area under the crop. The farmers are fearing that they may face problems in marketing of their produce as last year.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune team of a number of villages revealed that the white-backed planthopper, commonly known as “tela” was voraciously feeding on the paddy plants thereby destroying these in a large number. The survey also revealed that farmers of Mullanpur Dakha, Lohi, Andaloo, Halwara, Handerpura, Chappa, Barundi, Rauni, Kalkakh, Jartoli, Raikot and Jajwan villages were panicked due to the attack.

Ironically, the worst hit are the farmers who had cultivated PUSA-44 variety of paddy not following the recommendations of Punjab Agricultural University that had advised them to sow PR-114, PR-111 and PR-116 varieties. The farmers said although they were well aware of the fact that the PAU had recommended these varieties, they had resorted to sowing PUSA variety because of the last year’s paddy problem.

Mr Bhagwant Singh, a farmer of Jartoli village said last year he had sown PR-114 variety in his fields but due to the discolouration of grains he had faced great difficulty in selling the produce. “In order to face no difficulty I had sown PUSA-44 variety this year. Last year we had sown the recommended variety that had produced discoloured grains. So to be on the safer side I cultivated PUSA but this has also attracted pests now. Fifty percent of my crop has already been damaged. What will I do this year?” said a frustrated Bhagwant Singh.

The farmers said the pest attack was very severe. They said white coloured small insects were appearing on the green plants. The nymphs and adults of hopper suck the sap of the plants especially the leaf sheath as a result of which the plants get dried up. The hopper then shifts from the dried up plants and attacks a new plant. In a few days the area of dry plants was increased manifold.

According to a survey conducted by syngenta farmer supporter team lead by Dr Malwinder Singh Malhi, Senior Area Manager, in various villages of Ludhiana district Ahmedgarh and Malerkotla area, the pest was causing a serious harm to the crop.

According to Dr Malhi the hopper was attacking only PUSA variety and other varieties were not affected to that extent. He said the new generation broad spectrum systemic insecticides were very effective against the pest.

The farmers were fearing that their produce would also fail this year due to the discolouration of the grains which could be due to this insect also. The PAU experts are however, of the opinion that the discoloration of the grains last year was due to some fungus infestation. They said PAU was trying to find out the exact reason that had led to the discolouration. 


Portion of church demolished
Renovation work going on in full swing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
The prayer hall of an over 170-year-old historic church near Christian Medical College and Hospital is being demolished and a new bigger hall would be constructed in its place.

A huge crowd gathered near the church today when labourers began demolishing it.

Initially it was being apprehended that some kind of subversive activity was on but later on it was learnt that the church needed renovation.

The incident roused curiosity of public and the media- persons who rushed to the sight fearing some trouble but it was soon realised that the demolition was smooth and was being taken up with the consent of by Christian community.

According to sources, the prayer hall of the church was in a dilapidated condition. The walls had developed cracks and the roof was leaking and plaster was falling at several places.

Sources in the construction company said a new hall, four times the size of the existing one, would be constructed after the demolition work was complete.

The church was constructed by Christian Missionaries in early 19th century.


Park in ruins as lobby fights over possession
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Raikot (Ludhiana), August 18
The over three decade-old controversy surrounding the ownership of the historical Santa Singh Ramgarhia Park in this town has re-surfaced. While the general house meeting of Municipal Council had, after ignoring the maintenance of the park all these years, passed early this week a plan of Rs 2 lakh to beautify it, the RSS lobby aided by the local BJP leaders have trained guns to block any such move.

As a hint of the working of the RSS lobby, which has been claiming since the 1970s that a temple used to exist at the park, 5 members of the BJP, a ruling combine of SAD that is in power in the MC, voted against the beautification plan resolution moved by the MC. Their opposition has raised many an eyebrow as 5 members of SAD and 5 of the opposition, which includes 4 of Congress and one of CPI, voted in favour of the scheme. The voting pattern is learnt to have caused embarrassment to the SAD-BJP unity in the town. The Congress by voting in favour of the scheme is claiming that it is working for the benefit of the people.

According to sources, the opposition by the BJP members has been made at the behest of the strong RSS lobby in the town and adjoining areas. The RSS and BJP leaders have been claiming for the past several decades that the parkland belonged to an erstwhile temple and the MC had no right over it. Old-timers recall that in the early 1970s, the shakhas of the RSS used to be held here but for few years only. Later, the MC mooted a proposal to beautify the park but was resisted strongly by the RSS, BJP leaders and some town residents who claimed that the land was of a temple and the MC or the public had no right over it.

The lobby allegedly blocked the development of the park and due to the dispute even the maintenance of the historical park, said to be over 100 years old, was stopped. The town remained tense for several months then as the struggle by the RSS-BJP lobby to take possession of the park intensified. The MC with the support of the local residents countered the claim of the lobby saying that they were eyeing the high-property value of the park.

The matter was resolved after several years when a magisterial inquiry upheld the claim of the residents and the MC that the park was for the public and no temple existed there. The matter had ended there but now it has re-surfaced.

These allegations are now again doing the rounds as the value of the park having substantial area has increased manifold. Sources said it is the prime property and the value may touch Rs 1 crore level.

Inquiries by Ludhiana Tribune have revealed that the park was donated to the residents by the erstwhile nawabs of Raikot. The nawabs belonging to the Rai clan had donated the park for use by the public. However, no one knows how it was named Santa Singh Ramgharia park. The park was in pretty good shape till the 1970s when the unsavoury controversy began. Since then it has been lying abandoned and is in ruins now.

Old residents recall that the park had a beautiful landscape and a concrete boundary wall. Taking into account old tradition the park had separate places earmarked for men and women.


Transferred Principals refuse to join schools
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 18
Alleging tampering of inquiry reports prepared by the district Education Department and interference of political groups, principals of Government Senior Secondary Schools at Lalton Kalan, Kila Raipur, Baddowal and Dehlon, who had received transfer orders last month, have refused to join new schools.

The principals said that the inquiry officers had done injustice to them and they were being politically victimised. They said that for a routine complaint made by them against school employees to the department, they were themselves being harassed instead of punishing the employees found guilty. The principals have taken leave and are giving representations to various education officers and ministers that their case be looked into again and another probe be ordered.

The principals said that they were being harassed for no fault of theirs. Narrating her incident, the Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Lalton Kalan village, said that she had written a complaint about two school teachers to the District Education Department alleging misbehaviour, irregularity in attending classes and interference of their relatives in school matters. She said that the panchayat, villagers and political groups favoured the teachers who belonged to the village and instead complained about the misconduct of the Principal to the department.

The department conducted a inquiry in which views of the staff, students as well as panchayat, villagers and political groups were taken, she said, following which she got transferred. However, a drawing teacher who belonged to the village, against whom allegations were made by the Principal, was exempted. Now the Principal has refused to accept the transfer orders and has demanded another probe.

Similarly, the Principal at Government Senior Secondary School, Baddowal, had written a complaint about an English lecturer to the District Education Department alleging misconduct, irregularity in taking classes, wrongly marking attendance and preparation of wrong results. The department conducted an inquiry, found the lecturer guilty and gave her transfer orders.

Later, on the interference of the village panchayat, another inquiry was conducted by another inquiry officer of the department and the lecturer was again found guilty. Political groups in the village interfered, reports were allegedly manipulated and both the lecturer as well as the Principal got transfer orders. The Principal now declines to accept transfer orders and has demanded another probe.

In yet a similar case, the principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Kila Raipur, had complaint against a peon, gatekeeper and a senior laboratory attendant, who were allegedly taking drugs on the school campus and abstaining from their duties. The Principal said that she locked the school canteen which was reportedly being run by the gatekeeper of the school. Following the incident in September last year, three cases of theft took place in school and the Principal blamed the three employees for the theft in a complaint to the Education Department.

After this the employees complained about misconduct of the Principal to the department and an inquiry was ordered by the Education Department. Inquiry reports confirmed that the Principal’s conduct was satisfactory. However, due to the alleged interference of political groups, the Principal was transferred to Kaonke Kalan, 45 km from the city. The Principal declined to join new school and has given a representation to the Education Minister, demanding cancellation of the orders. The Principal has alleged that her transfer was unjustified as she was unmarried and her brother and father, who are suffering from physical disabilities, are dependent on her.

The Principal of the Baddowal school has been transferred to Bhundri village and the Principal of Lalton Kalan has been transferred to Katani Kalan on the Chandigarh road. The Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, has been transferred to Lubangarh, near Machhiwara, following complaints from the parents that two students who had failed from the school were not re-admitted. No inquiry was conducted and owing to alleged political interference, the Principal was transferred. The Principal has not yet joined the new school and is trying for cancellation of transfer orders.

The principals said that if such incidents of harassment continued, principals of other villages would become panicky and never complain to the department. As a result, cases of indiscipline in government schools would go unattended and affect the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, with the refusal of the principals to join duty in schools and delay on the part of the education officers to decide about the fate of such principals, the administrative work in the schools has been hit.


Gold glitters for investors yet again
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 18
Their trust shaken due to the UTI fiasco, city residents have again resorted to making investments in gold purchases. Apprehensive of investing money in such schemes, the Ludhianvis are fast buying gold as a safer method of investment.

Though recession has affected the city market, with not many takers for alluring offers introduced by various shopkeepers, the only shops doing brisk business are the jewellery shops. The rush is amazing and the women have to wait for their turn to buy jewellery at shops on College Road and the Mall.

Many jewellers Ludhiana Tribune spoke to attributed the sudden demand of gold to the failure of US-64 and crashing of the share market. They said as the banks were not giving much interest on deposits and savings schemes, people were disillusioned with various investment methods and were returning to the purchase of gold.

Some jewellers gave the reason for spurt in sales to the Indian calendar. They said the month of Lond would start after a few days and some people avoided making purchases during that month. The month would be followed by shraddhs, which again were considered inauspicious, especially for purchases.

According to some jewellers, NRIs loved to buy a lot of jewellery as there was a mind-boggling variety of designs. These days, following latest international standards, shopkeepers were offering light-weight jewellery studded with hanging drop variety and more Burmese stones. Since the stones of different kinds were hot favourites, they admitted that stones and diamonds were best set in 18 carat gold. Indian women had accepted this shift from 22 carat to 18 carat gold easily as this kind of jewellery went well with Western outfits, which were being increasingly worn by the young generation.

Another change that the Indian women were going in for was to camouflage the sheen of yellow metal by giving it a coat of platinum to make it appear white. Sometimes, bronze, gold and platinum was used in bangles to make it wearable with many outfits. Women had become discerning and stressed matching accessories.

Women did not want to buy heavy gold sets and preferred designer sets wearable on kitty parties and other small parties, which had become the fashion of the day. Some of these were very trendy and could afford to buy jewels. Pieces of jewellery were being copied from Western catalogues of famous houses.

Some jewellers said since the wedding season was round the corner, people had started buying jewellery. Some jewellers had started monthly kitties, in which members had to pay a certain amount and chit system was used to determine the lucky one who would get the jewellery.

Many companies had started offering gold chains, coins and pendants with tea packets, and biscuits. A recent scheme offered a woman a chance to pick up as many jewellery pieces as she could within one minute. She would have to pick up a piece and put it in the bag.


Punjab ministers “in league with drug mafia”
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 18
Speakers at an “awareness rally”, organised by the district unit of the Urban Development Cell of the Youth Congress at Dasehra ground of Jamalpur Colony charged several ministers in the SAD-BJP Government in Punjab with being in league with the drug mafia and behind the increasing sale of intoxicants in the state.

Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Chairman of the Labour and Employment Cell of the PPCC, was the chief guest while Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman of the urban development cell of the Indian Youth Congress presided.

Mr Bawa claimed that fed up with the “anti-people” policies of the government, the people had started drifting away. “The mood of the electorate is clearly for a change of government and the days of the SAD-BJP Government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, are numbered.” He said that corruption had crossed all limits and sensing that their comeback to power was a distant dream, the government functionaries had started making money through a well-organised recruitment racket.

Mr Bawa alleged that the government had not only failed to discharge its moral and constitutional responsibility of weaning the youth away from intoxicants and drug abuse but some of the ministers were a part and parcel of the drug mafia and liquor cartels all over Punjab.

Mr Pawan Diwan rued the spiralling prices of essential commodities and total collapse of the public distribution system. The government had failed to come to terms with increasing unemployment and education was fast becoming out of reach of the common man. As a result of the rising cost of education, a large number of brilliant and deserving students were forced to drop out which had precipitated the situation arising from massive unemployment among the youth.

Meanwhile, Mr Ganga Ram Sharma, observer of the All-India Congress Committee paid a visit to the residence of Late Om Parkash Gupta, who had represented the Ludhiana (East) Assembly constituency as Congress legislator three times. According to Mr Om Parkash Angrish, the observer discussed the organisational set-up in the area and prospects of the party in the coming Assembly elections with Congress workers assembled there.

The party activists informed Mr Ganga Ram that the party nominee should not be thrust upon from some other area and preference should be given to a resident of the segment, who would have better rapport with the electorate. 


Bector elected to Sirhind MC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 18
Mr Sunil Bector (Independent) was declared elected in municipal council elections for Ward No. 2 of Sirhind in the district today on the last day of withdrawls. Nine candidates had filed their nominations for this seat.

Senior Akali leaders, Rajesh Paul Singh Lalli, Didar Singh Bhatti and Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, and MLA Harbans Lal organised a meeting of all prominent citizens of the ward.

Mr T.S. Dhaliwal, SDM-cum-returning officer, said the other eight candidates had withdrawn their nominations.


Rs 50,000 looted
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 18
A milk contractor Satpal Singh of Diwa Ice Factory was robbed on pistol point of Rs 50,000 near State Bank of Patiala today afternoon.

The robbers snatched the sum of Rs 50,000 and went away on scooter. The complainant Satpal Singh and his friend Gurinder Singh were so dazed by the sudden attack that they did not raise an alarm immediately and even informed the police after 20-25 minutes after the incident.

On the receipt of information Mr Sushil Kumar, DSP, and Inspector Malkiat Singh, SHO rushed to the spot and gheraoed the area immediately and some suspicious persons were taken into custody. The milk contractor had withdrawn a sum of Rs 2 lakh from bank and about Rs 1.50 lakh were given to a party.


Buddha Nullah breach: water recedes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
The flood-situation in number of colonies alongside the Buddha Nullah improved as water-level receded “on its own” in the nullah. However, the District Administration and the Municipal Corporation has yet not been able to plug the breach in the drain that had caused floods in most of the colonies.

According to Mukhtiar Singh, President, MS Nagar Residents Welfare Association, the water receded several inches today even as the breach was not plugged.

He said his colony was almost safe where as the condition in other colonies was improving slowly.


Residents resent municipal apathy
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 18
Residents of Chaudhary Colony in Bassi Pathana town of the district are living in a terrible situation. The colony lacks even basic civic amenities. The residents had been highlighting their problems at various platforms but to no avail.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, Mr Gurdev Singh, president of the Chaudhary Colony Residents Welfare Association said the residents in a recent meeting held here have decided to boycott the forthcoming elections, if their grievances were not redressed.

Narrating the poor living conditions in the colony, the residents said it is the only Government approved colony in the district and yet there were no roads, sewerage, streetlighting and water supply. There is no proper drainage and the water accumulates on the streets and turns into the breeding ground of mosquitoes and other such disease carrying insects. Residents apprehend that if the local Municipal Council doesn’t take any corrective measures, it might lead to an outbreak of serious diseases.

The residents also pointed out that the PSEB was providing power connection to the newly constructed houses without installing proper power poles. The power-cables at some places were very low and pose a serious threat to the passers by.

The residents resented that despite collecting huge taxes under various guises the local municipality was not providing them with the much needed basic infrastructure.


Badal told to rescind all pacts on river waters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) and its political outfit, the Sikh League International (SLI), have called upon Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to rescind as void abnitio all ‘agreements’ on river waters by passing a resolution in the state assembly, to prove his credentials that he was not hand-in-glove with his Haryana counterpart as far as the issue of Punjab river waters was concerned.

The IHRO and the Sikh League Core Group, in a meeting here yesterday, expressed dismay over the leadership of SAD (Badal) and Panthic Morcha that both were competing with each other to commemorate the 16th death anniversary Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal who had “betrayed Punjab and its people” by signing the Rajiv-Longowal Accord (1985), which was mainly aimed at “robbing the state of its natural wealth — river waters”.

The Sikh League leaders, Mr D S Gill and Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, said all those who are observing the death anniversary of Sant Longowal were not the friends of Punjab. They regretted that it is unfortunate that Simranjit Singh Mann had also joined their bandwagon.

While urging Mr Badal to rescind all arrangements and ‘agreements’ made on river waters as an ultra vires of the Constitution and the riparian law bypassing a resolution in the state assembly and to challenge the newly passed Inter-State Water Disputes (amendment) Act, 2001, in the Supreme Court of India, SLI and the IHRO activists censured SAD MPs, including Mr Mann and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, for not opposing the amendment in Parliament.

The Sikh League and the IHRO have called upon the people to totally reject all those leaders who had betrayed Punjab and had opposed the human rights movement for their political ends, and to lend support only to those leaders who in their opinion are committed to the cause of Punjab and the Panth.

Meanwhile, the Sikh League today reiterated its stand on the ‘sehajdhari’ issue, endorsing the SGPC’s resolution that Sehajdhari Sikhs should be debarred from participating in the election but with a reservation that there should be provision of proportional cooption for them in the House. 


Shelterless poor to get plots
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 18
Mr Vikas Partap Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, has informed that the process of providing free plots measuring 5 marlas each to the shelterless poor families out of the panchayat land has been started and the required survey to identify the houseless families in the villages has been completed through the field staff of development department.

The Deputy Commissioner was addressing a “sangat darshan” programme at Pola village, 20 km from here yesterday. In the “sangat darshan” programme as many as 75 complaints were received out of which 30 were redressed on the spot and the remaining have been sent to the officers concerned for verification.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the officers of all the departments to accord top priority to submit their verification reports regarding the complaints received in the “sangat darshan” programme positively within the fixed period.

Disposing off a complaint of the panchayat of the village, the Deputy Commissioner directed the BDPO and SHO to immediately get the stagnated rain water drained out from the village. On the request of 165 identified houseless poor families in the village to provide them 5 marla plots to construct the houses at the earliest, the Deputy Commissioner directed the panchayat to pass a resolution to give “Shamlat” land for this purpose.

Reacting to the complaints of the panchayats of Chhaleri Kalan village and Chhaleri Khurad regarding the shortage of teachers in the primary schools, the Deputy Commissioner asked the DEO (P) to provide the required staff. On a complaint also of the residents of Chhaleri Kaland village regarding encroachment on panchayati land by ex-Sarpanch, the Deputy Commissioner told the DDPO to inquire into the complaint and remove the encroachments if established.

The Deputy Commissioner also Directed the District Social Security Officer and CDPO to expedite the cases of the discontinued old age and other pensions at the earliest. He also called upon the people to bring only the genuine and factual complaints in the “sangat darshan”. 


Sadbhavna tour to Wagah border
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 18
Roopika Ladies Club members conducted a “sadbhavna tour” to Amritsar attended by 35 members of the club. The tour aimed at promoting national unity and integrity.

Ms Meena Girhotra, General Secretary of the club, said in a press statement today that the members also visited Wagah border and met Indian soldiers. The club members congratulated the jawans for their excellent performance in the Kargil war.

President of the club, Sukhraj Kaur said the club would always extend its help to poor girls for their marriage and education. Besides, it would also organise free blood donation, medical, brain diseases detection camps and conduct seminars on “drug addiction and dowry system”.


BSP opposes octroi abolition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 18
The Bahujan Samaj Party and its allied units have opposed the proposed abolition of octroi in the state.

In a press note release here today, Mr D.P. Khosla, Vice-president of the Punjab unit of the party, said the Akali-BJP government in the state had failed on all fronts and had lost its mass base. He said repressions of the trading community had crossed all limits during the present government’s tenure.

Mr Khosla said with the elections drawing closer, the government was trying to please the trading community by abolishing octroi. He said the government get a revenue of nearly Rs 500 crore from octroi which is spent on the salaries of the local government employees and development purposes. He said abolition of the octroi was the future of as many as, 4,308 employees.

Mr Khosla also levelled allegations of serious irregularities in the grant of sanitation contracts. He said contractors were fleecing the government and the minister concerned was ignorant of the scams.


Serving humanity their mission
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 18
The Management of Dukh Niwaran in Field Ganj has been serving humanity in the field of education, medical aid and free community kitchen for devotees.

The gurdwara was a small structure at the time of Partition. Its fame has spread as it has an old ‘baoli’ (a fresh spring) which has medicinal qualities. As devotees increased and collections grew, the gurdwara set up a hospital where the needy and poor patients could be examined and treated at nominal rates.

The hospital has postgraduate doctors and the OPD reports 300 patients daily, who are charged Rs 5 each. The doctors are instructed to waive money for tests and examine them free if they find the patients to be destitutes. Laboratory and pathological tests are conducted at affordable rates.

The morning prayer session starts at 2.30 am and the devotees are served breakfast. More than 2000 persons eat lunch and dinner in the community kitchen. The entire food is cooked in pure ghee. The gurdwara has a dairy farm and has 40 milch cows.

The gurdwara has a library, which has more than 1000 books on all religions, specifically on Sikhism. The library gets different newspapers and periodicals. Bhai Gurdas Gurmet Missionary College, located in the vicinity of the gurdwara, provides free religious education pertaining to Sikhism. More than 40 students have free boarding, lodging and education.

The computer centre gives computer education to 60 girls and 40 boys in separate batches. Those who cannot pay the fees are given a scholarship from the gurdwara.

Sacks of lentils are given in charity to Gyan Sthal Mandir near Subhani building. Medical aid is provided to victims of rail accidents. The gurdwara committee is ready to serve humanity in every field. 


Take corrective action, plead residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 18
Residents of Urban Estate, Dugri, Phase-I, having houses around vacant plots (no 419 to 424) face a serious threat to their houses from rain water accumulated in the vacant plots as both PUDA and the Municipal Corporation authorities are indifferent and apathetic to their plight. The affected residents have served an ultimatum to the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA and the MC Commissioner to initiate immediate corrective measures within two weeks, failing which they would resort to legal action and move the Consumers court to claim damages.

According to Dr Shiv K. Gupta, general secretary of the Urban Estate Welfare Association, rain water has been accumulating in these plots for the past several years. As a result, the nearby houses had suffered excessive damage to the floors and foundations due to persistent moisture. The residents had approached the PUDA and the MC, as well as, the area councillors Ms Harpreet Kaur, Ms Baljinder Kaur and Mr Om Parkash Angrish but to no avail.

Mr Gupta said the association had submitted a memorandum, listing their grievances, to Ms Upinderjit Kaur, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab during a ‘sangat darshan’ convened by PUDA, here on August 4. Despite verbal assurance by the minister and a written communication from Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator, PUDA, no solution to the problem had been made till date.

The grievance faced by the residents of Sarabha Nagar locality is a little different. The nuisance created by stray dogs and pigs, all over the colony and particularly in Block B, has made the life of the people miserable. Increasing number of stray dogs in the area has created a fear psychosis among the small children and the aged. The pigs roam all around and cause damage to parks and kitchen gardens.

Resentful over the failure of the civic administration to tackle the problem of stray animals, many residents feel that the concept of prevention of cruelty to animals was being stretched a little too far. The MC has done away with the earlier practice of killing stray dogs in the face of activism of animal lovers, but it hasn’t ensured that the people are not put to difficulties on account of such stray animals. Rather than keeping its eyes shut to the reality and make people suffer, the civic body should make arrangements to shift the stray dogs and pigs to a rescue home, where they could be properly kept and looked after, say the residents.


Gill seeks ticket from Payal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 18
Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, state Delegate of SAD, has submitted his claim to the party ticket from the Payal Constituency, arguing that he had worked for the welfare of Akali workers and has strong family ties in the area.

Mr Gill along with other party leaders and workers had gone to Payal to pay tributes to Dalip Singh Deepa and three of his companions who were killed 18 years ago in an encounter with the police.

Expressing his claim to the ticket, Mr Gill said the local MLA had been overlooking the interests of Akali workers of the area.


Two looted at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
Two unidentified scooter-borne youths robbed two persons, including a manager of a co-operative bank, at gunpoint near Andlo village here this afternoon. The robbers decamped with cash and jewellery.

According to sources, Mr Nirmal Singh, manager of Co-operative Bank, Andlo branch, along with another employee, Mr Prem Singh, were returning from duty around 4 p.m. when two scooter-borne youths with muffled faces stopped them between, Bhaini dera and Andlo. They demanded cash and other valuables, and forced the victims to part with gold rings and bracelets.


BODY FOUND: The body of 45-year-old Vinod Kumar was found near the cremation ground of Lakha Singh Wala village near here yesterday. He was reportedly a drug addict and had no enmity with any person. The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the Cr PC.


TWO BOOKED: Harchand Singh of Jandi and his nephew Balbir Singh have been booked for causing injuries to Charan Singh of the same village while he was on way to his home. In his statement to the police, Charan Singh stated that there was a dispute over unauthorised possession of a passage of a street by Harchand Singh.


CASE REGISTERED: The local police had registered a case against a rice sheller owner, Mr Harpal Singh under Sections 279, 295A, 323, 342, IPC. The complaint was lodged by office-bearers of the local truck union. SP (H) is investigating the matter.


Beopar Mandal’s decision endorsed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 18
A meeting of the Moti Nagar United Factory Association was held at Moti Nagar under the chairmanship of Mr Bhushan Abhi. Mr Harish Khanna, president Ludhiana Small Scale Manufactruing Association, Mr Balwant Rai, president, North Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also addressed the gathering.

Responding to the beopar mandal’s decision to contest 30 Assembly seats in Punjab, all industrial leaders unanimously decided to support the decision and to be the part of the movement. Mr Abhi said this was a much awaited step for the trade and industry. He felt that the trading and industrial community had been looted, extorted, harassed and betrayed by all political parties during the past 54 years of independence. He said all industrial and trade associations support the call to fight elections. Traders and industrialists will extend whole hearted support to this movement, he said.

Mr Harish Khanna said he would make every effort to see that these ‘beopari’ candidates get full support from all sections. He said the movement is now a join movement of trade and industry and the politicians will realise that the traders can take care of themselves.

Mr Balwant Rai said a joint convention of trade and industry associations will be organised soon.

Meanwhile, the Industry and Trade forum Punjab has condemned the “wrong economic policies” being pursued by the state government. Besides adversely affecting the financial position of the common man, it is proving highly detrimental to the interests of industry and trade in the state. The state government is also implementing populist measures and unduly taxing other sections of the society and making their lives all the more miserable.

Disclosing this here today, the president of the forum, Mr Harish Khanna, said the state government had already constituted the Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission headed by Mr R S Maan which is fully vested with the powers to regulate power tariff in the state. “We now find that the State Electricity Regulatory Commission is neither being consulted nor its advice heeded to on important matters which by and large affect power tariff in the state”, he observed.

Mr Khanna said, another off-shoot of the populist scheme of the state government to consolidate its vote bank is lowering of the domestic tariff of power. He said, “it is pertinent to mention here that we had taken up the matter regarding increased rate of ACD, fuel surcharge and additional surcharge for residential and commercial bills etc. by PSEB and have been intimated that the matter is under the active consideration of the commission. If it is so, why should the state government or the board for that matter initiate any policy decision concerning power tariff”.

If at all the state government considers that the Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission has become redundant, why not close it instantly which otherwise is a burden on the state exchequer, Mr Khanna said.

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