Monday, September 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Plan to regularise encroachments
Land to be allotted on concessional rates
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 23
The district administration has initiated the process to allot the encroached revenue land in urban areas to the persons in possession at concessional rates under the special scheme of the state government. The scheme would prove to be a boon to city residents, who had constructed their houses long back and were in physical possession of these dwelling units.

Giving details of the scheme, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said under the policy the beneficiary should be in possession of the land as on January 1, 1996, and his possession would have to be substantiated on the basis of ‘pucca’ construction, water supply, power connections and proof of residence in the house. Mere entry into the revenue record and long time ‘girdwaries’ would not be accepted for the purpose of allotment. Apart from this, the land being used for agriculture purpose or taken on contract for farming would not be considered for regularisation under this scheme, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner said the application by the eligible occupants would be accepted till October 22, 2001, on the prescribed proforma, which could be obtained from the offices of the Tehsildar concerned. The concessional rates of the land, under encroachment, would vary depending on the area under occupation. He informed that the persons occupying up to five marlas of land would have to pay 20 per cent of the market rate, those occupying between five marlas and 10 marlas would be charged 30 per cent, whereas persons occupying more than 10 marlas and less than a kanal would have to pay 40 per cent. Persons seeking regularisation of land measuring more than one kanal would have to pay full market price of the land.

Mr Sandhu informed that market price of such government land, that was under encroachment, would be determined by the District Land Price Fixation Committee, whose decision in this respect would be final. The allottees would have to deposit one-fourth of the total payable amount within a period of one month from the date of issuing of allotment letters and remaining three-fourth amount would be recovered through half yearly installments in five years with 12 per cent simple interest. In case the allottee choosing to deposit the full amount within a period of one month from the date of allotment, a rebate of five per cent on the total cost of the land would be allowed.

The final decision to allot the land to the applicants, added Mr Sandhu, would be taken by the Tehsildar or the SDM as per the guidelines of the Punjab Government, issued on August 23, 2001. No person would be given the benefit of allotment of more than one property.


Tension grips Sudhar block
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Tension prevailed in several villages in Sudhar block in the district following another attempt by the followers of the controversial Ropar-based Bhaniara Guru to restart the path of the Bhavsagar Samundar Granth, banned by Akal Takht, at Attiana village early this morning.

The Jagraon police, which had earlier increased surveillance in these villages due to the fear of clashes between followers and opponents of the controversial guru, today deployed heavy security in the Sudhar block. The situation in these villages was tense ever since activists of the SSF(Mehta) allegedly torched a copy of the Bhavsagar Granth in the Bhai Randhir Nagar of Ludhiana last Sunday. The SSP, Mr Balkar Singh, said the situation was tense but under control. He said the police was keeping a close vigil on the activities of both groups.

In fact, the situation was tense in Attiana, Alamgir and surrounding villages since yesterday, when some followers of the Bhaniara Guru began reciting the banned Granth. The activists of the Dal Khalsa International, the Panthic Morcha and the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) gathered in large numbers in front of the house of Mr Jagtar Singh in Attiana village to stop the path.

As tempers ran high, the police and the civil administration reached the place in the nick of time to prevent the situation taking an ugly turn. It was decided that the path would be stopped, but some followers started it this morning.

According to information available, some followers of the baba began reciting the path, which again attracted the ire of the activists of the opposing party. The heavy police force deployed in the villages since yesterday separated the groups and peace was restored. A police contingent under the leadership of two DSPs was also rushed to the village. The police appealed to the leaders of the warring groups to keep control on their activists. Meanwhile, sources informed that the tension was likely to spread in other villages.


50 SAD members join Cong
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
With the Assembly elections round the corner, there has been a spate of political upheavals in the city with several parties coming round to forge new alliances and many of the other political activists changing loyalties, with their eyes on greener pastures. In two separate developments in the city today, the All-India Sikh Students Federation (Badal) faction, led by Mr Kulwant Singh Ranike formally joined the SAD (B) Youth Wing while over 50 SAD activists, headed by Mr Raminderpal Singh Dang quit the party to join the Congress.

After an extended meeting with his close supporters at Circuit House here, Mr Ranike, a senior activist of the AISSF, owing allegiance to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, announced the merger of his faction with the Youth Wing of the ruling party. Speaking on the occasion, he said the decision was taken after detailed discussions with senior party leaders, including Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, Acting District President of SAD (B) and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Director, Markfed and in charge of the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment.

Baba Ajit Singh, Mr Kultar Singh Jogi, Mr Ujagar Singh Chhapa and Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Khalsa, all SAD-B functionaries were present on the occasion. They assured Mr Ranike and his supporters that they would be given places of pride in the organisation.

Mr Ranike further said the party workers had taken a pledge to propagate the policies and programmes of the ruling party to every nook and corner of the state to prepare the ground for another landslide victory of the ruling coalition in the assembly elections.

In separate resolutions, adopted at the meeting, the SAD-B Youth Wing activists condemned the act of sacrilege against the Guru Granth Sahib in Ropar and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits and ban on controversial book of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. Lashing the newly forged “panthic morcha”, the party charged its constituents with betraying the SAD and functioning as an agent of the Congress.

In a well-attended function, organised by the Block Congress Committee at Campa Cola Chowk on Gill Road here, the District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Surinder Dawar, welcomed Mr Raminderpal Singh Dang, an SAD-B activists and many of his supporters to the party fold. Mr Gurmel Singh Mela, councillor, presided over the meeting.

Speakers made scathing attacks on the SAD-BJP government for rampant corruption, skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, widespread unemployment and deteriorating law and order situation.


PAU bypasses rules to regularise teacher
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has regularised the services of a teacher who remained on “unauthorised leave” from the university for five years. The development has sparked off a row on the campus with the staff members alleging that his services were regularised by bypassing the PAU rules.

The controversy is simmering on the campus as the teacher who was regularised recently has been sent on a training for six more months at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

His services were regularised by the university’s Board of Management (BOM) recently. According to a copy of the agenda of the meeting procured by Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Manoj Srivastava had joined the PAU as Assistant Bajra Geneticist in December 1980.

He was granted study leave for three years from November 1985 to November 1988 to pursue the Ph.D. programme by the university. Before proceeding on the study leave the scientist had signed a bond with the university pledging that he would serve the university for five years upto December 30, 1993.

As per the agenda, he remained unauthorisedly absent from duty during the bond period from December 1, 1990 to October 4, 1993. During his absence from the university, the authorities had inserted a notice in the Press asking him to appear before the inquiry officer.

Interestingly, the notice was published on June 18, 1991 and he was told to appear before the university authorities within a month, he submitted his joining report on October 16, 1991.

His request for the grant of extraordinary leave for three years from 1990 to 1993 for an outstation assignment was considered and rejected by the then Vice-Chancellor. But he chose to remain absent from the university and continued to send his leave applications.

According to the agenda “He was served a memorandum of chargesheet (dated 14.7.94) for willful absenteeism from December 1990 to October 1993, which rendered him liable to disciplinary action as per the rules.” The reply to the chargesheet furnished by him was considered by the Vice-Chancellor and his period of absence from December 1990 to October 1993 was treated as extraordinary leave and Dr Srivastava joined duty on October 5, 1993.

Dr Srivastava then tendered his resignation on January 10, 1996 putting some conditions for the acceptance of the same with effect from March 31, 1996. He was then told by the university to either tender his resignation without any condition with one month’s notice or to deposit one month’s salary in lieu of the notice period.

He, however, did not comply with it and remained absent from April 1, 1996. He submitted his request for the withdrawal of the resignation on August 19, 1998 which was turned down by the authorities.

Subsequently, the Head, Department of Plant Breeding, issued orders (dated 18.4.2000) for the acceptance of resignation with effect from the date of submission of resignation. The orders were conveyed to him by the university.

Dr Srivastava, however, submitted his representation to the Vice-Chancellor in January 2001 requesting him to revoke the orders of acceptance of the resignation with retrospective effect i.e. March 31, 1996. The Vice-Chancellor considered his representation and he was allowed to join the duty. 


Post office burgled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A post office was reportedly burgled at Khanpur village last night by at least two unidentified burglars, who decamped with about Rs 17,000, besides some documents. The stolen amount included Rs 14,000 belonging to the Post Master, Mr Ranjit Singh, in whose house the post office was located.

According to Mr Ranjit Singh, he was sleeping along with three other family members in the open verandah of the house when he woke up after hearing some noise at about 2 a.m. last night. He said the noise was coming come from the post office room, but as soon as he began walking cautiously towards the room, he heard a noise as if someone had jumped over the boundary wall of the house.

At his alarm, the family members woke up and found that the locked door of the post office room had been broken and the almirah, containing the cash and the documents, had been broken into. The Post Master informed the police that he had kept his money in the same almirah, which had been stolen.

The police called in fingerprints experts and the dog squad was pressed into service. No clue was found. The police suspected the involvement of some local residents who were aware of the things inside the post office.


I am not interested in films: Ruby
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 23
The irrepressible, tall, svelte, good looking, popular VJ and most sought out anchor, Ruby Bhatia was in the city for a launch of Gano Excel, a health product.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune she said, “Life has its own plans. I was chosen Miss Canada India in 1993. A part of the prize was a free air ticket to India. Born to Indian parents, I was born and brought up in Canada. Coming to India was like homecoming. I love India, its hills, rivers and deserts. I love meeting people, interacting with them. I never went back. Though the poverty of people does bother me a lot, but we have to do something to remove it”.

When asked what impression of Punjab she carries, she said laughingly, “I always associate Punjab with ‘Makki ki roti’ and ‘saag’. I always thought Punjabis were very warm people and I have found them to be so. I got a job offer of a VJ on Channel V. But for that job I had to change my appearance. I had lovely long hair but I had to chop them off because the producer demanded it. VJ is not idle chatter as most people tend to believe. To be a successful VJ one has to have sensitivity, love people and have a tremendous sense of humour, then only a VJ enjoys immense popularity. When I was in Canada I often participated in debates and declamation contests so I am good at public speaking. After four years as a VJ I felt that I was limited only to music. I wanted to do more varied and serious things”.

On being asked whether she wanted to be an actress, she replied that she had no intentions of becoming a film actress. She likes the limelight on herself, so she would not even like to act in serials as they have a lot of characters. Only if she gets a very important and significant role she would consider. She enjoys anchoring shows. She was anchoring ‘Good Morning India’ and ‘Lets Talk with Ruby’ on a Punjabi channel.

Though I look very modern as my producers want me to do so but in reality I am very traditional. Left to myself I would love to dress up like the womenfolk of the current popular serials. I have old fashioned values. I am very committed to my profession. Many people wanted me to become a news anchor but since I have not been a journalist, I don't think I can do justice to news anchoring. But I can rap very well and I am open to offers of becoming a ‘rap singer’.


Bitta for campaign against terrorism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, former president of the Indian Youth Congress, is all set to assume a fresh role for himself by creating a movement against terrorism across the country among the schoolchildren.

The campaign includes organising lectures against terrorism, giving an oath to schoolchildren to sacrifice anything and everything for the sake of country and building a strong nationalistic character above the partisan, sectarian, regional or caste considerations.

And Mr Bitta has valid reasons as, he points out, he belongs to a country which has been at the receiving end of the terrorism for past two decades. “Now is the time when the world community can appreciate our position better as everyone realises that the threat is looming large and anyone can be a victim now,” Mr Bitta told at a press conference here yesterday.


Woman raped by landlord
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A woman of Gurpal Nagar here was allegedly raped by her landlord when she had gone to meet the wife of the latter at their house.

In a complaint to the police the victim said Balwinder Singh, the owner of the house in which she was living as a tenant raped her last morning. She said his wife had invited her for a cup of tea at around 9 a.m. in the morning yesterday. When she went to her house the landlady went out of the house.

The landlord allegedly finding an opportunity raped her. A case under section 376, IPC, has been registered against Balwinder Singh. No arrest has been made so far.


6 booked for damaging boundary wall
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 23
The local police has booked six persons, under Sections 452 and 447 of the IPC, of Bilaspur village for damaging the boundary wall of the house owned by Jit Singh on September 16. The accused in the case are Jagmel Singh, Gurmel Singh, Jarnail, Gurbakhsh Singh and two others.

Petition dismissed: The Additional Sessions Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr G.S. Gill has reportedly dismissed the anticipatory bail application moved by Bhinder Singh, Dilber Singh and others of Manderan village in a case of dispute over drainage.


Malaysian herbal products launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
A wide range of Malaysian herbal products and food supplements, based on oriental herb ‘Ganoderma’, was launched at a function in the city today. Mr Ooi Kheng Seng, chairman, Mr Leon Soon Seng, vice-Chairman, and Mr Victor Yudhana, technical adviser of Gano Excel Enterprise Sdn Bhd of Malaysia, besides Mr Ashwani Prabhakar, and Mr Anil Mehta of the collaborating Indian Firm Gano Excel India Enterprises were present.

Addressing a seminar, attended by more than 500 direct marketing agents and distributors of he company, Mr Ooi Kheng Seng said that the manufacturing unit of the company in Malaysia was equipped with the latest ‘state-of-the-art’ machinery to maintain highest level of quality control.

He also described in detail the multi-level marketing (MLM) system, which the company followed worldwide for selling its products.

Earlier, addressing a news conference, Mr Leon Soon Seng, vice-chairman of the parent company, said India was the 10th country where this range of 13 herbal products and food supplements would be available.

The entire range of products would be manufactured and packed in Malaysia and marketed in India through the local firm.

According to Mr Ashwani Prabhakar, managing director of the local company, the range of products to be marketed included Ganoderma-based health products, skin care products, toiletries and beverages.

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