Wednesday, September 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



No plan to challan city motorists
Number plate rules only after six months
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 25
The district administration has no plan to challan city residents on account of using number plates that do not adhere to the modified specifications of number plates for vehicles, as announced by the Union Ministry of Surface Transport. Officials of the district administration have said the new rules on number plates will come into force only after a notification to this effect is issued by the state government.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suresh Arora, said, “There is no need for vehicle owners to panic as it will take at least six months before the infrastructure is available for issuing number plates as per the new specifications.” There is no proposal of the local police to launch any checking drive on account of number plates. “Before launching any drive, the public will be given adequate warning”.

Chaos and confusion prevailed in the city for the past few days on the issue of change in the format of number plates of both commercial and non-commercial vehicles. While some people in the city were getting their number plates changed, other adopted a wait and watch policy.

The new proposed high security number plates would have letters and numbers embossed and hot stamped, with a chromium-based hologram, containing the Ashoka emblem with “Bharat Sarkar” and “Government of India” on it. The new number plates currently being replaced on the vehicles did not carry any such description.

The Central Government issued directions in August that the type and colour pattern of registration number plates of all vehicles in the country would be changed as a security measure. Commercial vehicles would have yellow background with black letters and non-commercial vehicles would have white background with black letters.

The Union Minister of State for Roads and Highways, Mr B.C. Khanduri, had announced that the hot stamping film bearing the inscription “India” would be applied on the letters and numerals of the licence number and a permanent identification number of seven digits would be laser branded on the reflective sheeting of the registration number plate. He said a third registration plate, which would be in the form of a self-destructive type chromium-based hologram sticker, would have to be affixed on the inner side of the left hand corner of the windshield of vehicles.

For fear of being challaned by the traffic police, the residents had started getting white number plates, which were illegal and subject to be challaned as these did not adhere to either old or new rules.

Mr Arunpal Singh, SP Traffic, said, “the department is not challaning anyone on the issue of number plates”. There is a notification by the Government of India on this issue, but the date of implementation is yet to be finalised. “A proper format has to be followed before implementation. The rules will be certified by the Transport Office, which will be followed accordingly by the traffic police”.

The Additional District Transport Officer said the matter would be taken up at a state-level meeting of District Transport Officers, scheduled to be held in Chandigarh on September 28.



High moisture in paddy delays procurement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
The high moisture content in paddy (though lower in comparison to last year) has badly affected paddy procurement in the region as the FCI has decided to procure paddy only according to the specifications laid down by the Centre. The strike by rice-millers to protest against the government’s decision demanding 67 per cent yield of rice from paddy has further aggravated the problem.

Mr Ranbir Sood, vice-chairman, Arthiyas’ Association, Khanna Mandi, said, “The rice-shellers have decided to boycott the procurement in mandis in protest against this decision, resulting in low procurement by the state agencies as these are dependent on the shellers for the storage of paddy.”

A visit to mandis at Khanna, Gill Road and other places revealed that paddy crop lying there had moisture content as high as 30 per cent, and the farmers had to wait for four to five days on an average to sell their crop. An FCI official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We have been instructed to purchase only that paddy which has moisture content up to 18 per cent and damaged, sprouted and discoloured paddy up to 3 per cent. But most of the paddy coming to the mandis does not meet these requirements.”

The Punjab Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, in a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner here yesterday, had also alleged that the state government had not started procurement in at least 15 mandis in the district, including Hathoor, Basian, Jodhan, Siardarh and Katra mandis. The FCI, too, had not started procurement in Phillaur Mandi till yesterday due to high moisture content in the paddy. The samiti asked the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that the procured paddy was lifted on the very same day the auction was held because otherwise the farmers were asked by the Inspectors of procurement agencies to clean it again, resulting in an extra cost of Rs 1.50 per quintal to them. It alleged that due to a nexus between the commission agents and the inspectors, the farmers were forced to sell paddy at a lower price.

Mr Raghbir Singh Benipal, state secretary of the samiti, urged the state government to announce a bonus of at least Rs 40 per quintal on the procured paddy, and to relax the permissible limit of moisture content from 18 to 22 per cent, and that of damaged paddy from 3 to 7 per cent as most of the paddy reaped through harvesting combines had moisture content between 27 and 30 per cent.

According to agriculture experts, there is no soft option before the government. It has either to accept the paddy with high moisture content or face the ire of the farmers as it has not cared to implement the recommendations of the experts’ committee set by it.

Dr P.S. Rangi, Professor of Marketing, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU, says, “Nowhere in the world is paddy purchased in mandis in such a conventional manner. The procurement of paddy after de-husking by a simple machine, costing only about Rs 15,000, can solve the problem of farmers and agencies.” However, Mr Badal and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Supplies Minister, have outrightly rejected this suggestion.



Contract killing in Ludhiana
Husband murdered; woman, paramour held
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
Contract killings are no longer the domain of underworld dons. They take place right here. In a case that has come to light, a woman along with her paramour allegedly hired three contract killers to get rid of her husband who was an obstacle to her illicit relationship. The woman, interestingly, aimed at striking two birds, with the killing. One was to eliminate her spouse and second to encashing on the provident fund of her husband.

Her sinister plans, however, failed to continue for long as the Division No. 5 police working on the possible theory of illicit relationship succeeded in solving the murder case of Rajni Kant, a railway employee, who was found dead in a rented house in the railway colony here last week.

Sarita, alias Babli, the woman in question, her alleged paramour Rampal alias Raju, and the three alleged contract killers — Sadhu Prasad, Hari Prasad and Nageena — all residents of different villages in Bihar were arrested last evening. While the woman and her alleged paramour were arrested, the remaining accused, reportedly, surrendered to the police.

The accused woman, who revealed the whole story during interrogation, was now repenting her act. “My dogged pursuit of the illicit relationship has damaged my home and my life,” she told this correspondent while weeping uncontrollably. The other accused maintained a stoic silence.

Revealing the story, police sources said Rajni Kant (35), an employee with Diesel Engine sheds of the local Railway Department, used to live in a rented accommodation at Railway colony with his wife, Sarita, aged about 30, and two children for the last two years. His wife allegedly developed physical relations with a 22-year-old youth Rampal who was the son of the house owner.

According to a statement given to the police by Shrikant, brother of the deceased, Rajni Kant learnt about the relationship and stopped his wife from continuing it. He also shifted his residence but his wife allegedly continued the relationship. Shrikant stated that his brother told him the entire problem and they shifted their residence a number of times. However, despite everything, the relationship continued.

According to police sources, the woman was also fed up with all the blocks in her path and hatched a conspiracy with her alleged paramour to eliminate her husband from their way. In her confessional statement to the police, the woman said her paramour arranged some contract killers. The deal was finalised and a payment of Rs 50,000 to the hired killers was decided.

Last Monday, the woman went to the market with a neighbourer and the contract killers completed the job, as the man was alone in the house. Police sources said the man was strangulated to death.

The police probed several angles in the case and was informed by the close relatives of the deceased about the illicit relationship. The woman, who allegedly feigned to be in deep shock, denied her involvement in the case but cracked during police questioning. As police put pressure on the other accused, they also surrendered to the police.


Catchy advertisements trap students
Shruti Setia

Ludhiana, September 25
Several city youngsters are being misguided by catchy advertisements of unrecognised institutes that make tall claims and 100 per cent placement guaranty through varied media.

Since advertisements are the major source of information regarding various courses available to the students, these are being read by majority of the aspiring candidates. Most of the students take admission to various courses on seeing impressive advertisements published in certain newspapers.

Keeping the common psyche of the youth in mind, the advertisement makers design their advertisement to allure them. Newspapers and magazines are flooded with the advertisements of the different institutes these days. In these big and impressive advertisements these institutes make tall claims of placements, but most of them never complete these promises.

In the present system nobody can get an employment without practical training or experience. As our education system provides only theoretical knowledge, so the students always remain in search of the practical gain. After coming out of schools, students who have dreams of bright career in their eyes and want to achieve heights in their career, look forward for such a course that can give them a platform for a career.

Computer courses are most in demand these days. Many computer training organisations claim false recognitions. When after doing a course from an unrecognised institute students do not get placement that leads to disappointment and frustration. These institutes take advantage of the increasing unemployment problem.

A few months ago there was a boom of medical transcription. But after a few days when no more jobs were left in this sector, all big dreams of the aspiring students were shattered and their future was at stake. Nowadays, courses which are in demand are java, oracle, web designing etc. The kind of infrastructure required for these courses is available only in a few institutes. The rest are only making fools to the students. Some of the institutes do not even have enough computers and teachers.

Shally, who did a six-month course in web designing from a local institute, said, “When I applied for a job of web designer, only then I came to know that my institute was unrecognised. Regular appearance of such advertisements misguide the students leaving them in a state of fix”.

If anyone finds any advertisement which is misleading and offensive, he can lodge a complaint against it in the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).



‘Punjab has good scope for IT, dairy development’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
If the state has failed to get benefits even after taking delegations and making presentations in the pre-Budget meetings of the Finance Ministry, it should not feel disheartened, rather try it again with better preparation and networking. It is the political lobbying, networking and the presentation skills of the delegation that help the state or the industry to get benefits from the Centre.

These views were expressed by Dr Vallabh Bhai Kathiria, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, while speaking at the seminar on ‘Growth opportunities for industry in Punjab’ held here yesterday.

It was organised by the Ludhiana Management Association. He made it clear that the era of government investment was over. Its role was now limited to facilitating the investment through right policies and taxation system. Asked if there was any scope for Punjab to expect any share from the disinvestment funds generated by the Centre through disinvestment, the minister avoided to give any direct answer. He said tactfully, “The disinvestment fund would be used to strengthen the existing industries in the priority sector, social development, infrastructure and training programmes”.

He exhorted the industrialists to lobby and pressurise the state government to get the capital investment (worth more than Rs 500 crore), which was pending for the past many years. Dr Kathiria said there was a great scope for the development of IT, dairy and pharmaceutical industry in the state.

Earlier, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Group of Industries made a presentation on the present status and prospects of industries in Punjab. He said, “With the highest per capita income, more than Rs 23,000, Punjab has a great scope for industries. However, the stagnant share of the industry at 22 per cent of the state domestic product for the past many years is a matter of concern”.

Mr Munjal was of the view that the traditional industries, including hosiery, sports goods, light engineering and textiles, were losing their strength with the emergence of similar clusters with higher competitive advantage in other states. Emphasising on the mergers in the industrial sector, he said, “We should also look forward to IT and bio-technological industries as the people in the state are more willing to work in industries where they could use their knowledge and skills rather than working manually”.

He asserted that, “The small-scale industry in the state has survived because of quotas and protectionist polices. However, now there was a need for integration of small-scale industries with medium and large industries to reap the benefits of large- scale production”.

Mr Rajinder Gupta, in his presidential address, suggested the government to focus on eliminating the bottlenecks pertaining to coordination between the ministries and the industry and to improve infrastructure.

Mr V.K. Goyal, secretary of the association, Mr S.K. Chadda, a senior adviser, and Mr G.N. Sreekumaran, Deputy Secretary to the minister, Mr Mahesh Munjal, Mr Manjit Singh, Dr M.A. Zahir and Mr S.K. Rai were also present, among others.


PAU youth festival postponed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has postponed the youth festival which was scheduled to be held in October in lieu of the forthcoming National Games and semester examinations. The youth festival will now be organised in February 2002.

Sources in the PAU said the festival was organised in the month of October every year, but due to the semester examinations this month and National Games in November, it was being postponed.

The sources said the university had decided to postpone it because hostels would be vacated in November as these would be given to the players participating in the games. So the convenient timing would be in February only.



Tension grips Raikot colony
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
Tension prevailed in a colony on the outskirts of Raikot town this morning when some unidentified persons tried to torch the controversial Bhavsagar Samundar Granth, authored by Baba Piara Singh, kept in the house of a follower.

The miscreants fled when the owner of the house raised an alarm. Two cans containing more than 5 litres of kerosene were recovered in front of the room in which the Granth was kept. A portion of the window and the curtains were burnt. Timely intervention prevented the fire from spreading further.

A large number of people gathered near the house and went to the Raikot police station to lodge a complaint. A case was yet to be registered.



Freedom fighters to be honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
The Labour and Employment Cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) will honour freedom fighters, veteran party leaders, families of terrorists’ victims and other prominent personalities at a special function here on October 2 to mark Gandhi Jayanti. This was announced by Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, chairman of the cell, while addressing a meeting, held at Congress Bhavan here today to felicitate newly nominated convener of Trade and Industry Cell of the PPCC, Mr Prem Mittal.

According to him, a coordination committee, headed by Mr Prem Mittal, had been set up to make all necessary arrangements for the ‘sanman samaroh’ on Gandhi Janaynti at Punjabi Bhavan in the city. Other members of the committee were Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Mr Suresh Soni, both councillors, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Gurbehj Chabra, Mr Nirmal Kaira, Mr Palwinder Taggar and Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha.

Mr Bawa and other speakers expressed their gratefulness to the PPCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, party MP, for nomination of Mr Mittal as the convener of the Trade and Industry Cell. The step would pave the way for bringing members of trade and industry, closer to the party and understanding their problems in a more effective manner, they remarked.

Mr Bawa criticised the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal for the installation of a statue of late Devi Lal, former Deputy Prime Minister and Haryana Chief Minister. “The step was tantamount to adding salt to the wounds of Punjab farmers, whom the Haryana leader had always betrayed.” He said Mr Badal’s compulsions for eulogising Devi Lal might have been personal but squandering government funds for this purpose was absolutely uncalled for.

Meanwhile, addressing a mass contact rally at Chowk Kot Mangal Singh Nagar here, Mr Pawan Diwan, chairman, Urban Development Cell of Indian Youth Congress, charged the SAD-BJP government with betraying the masses and pursuing such policies that had led to stagnation of economy. He claimed that the people were fed with the misrule of the coalition government and were all set for a change. “The Congress, if voted to power, will address the problems of ailing economy and mounting unemployment on top priority,” Mr Diwan maintained.

The district Chairman of the UD cell, Mr Akshay Bhanot, alleged that the ruling Akali Dal functionaries were encouraging militants and disruptive forces and further apprehended that the ‘militancy card’ might be played in the coming elections to exploit the religious sentiments and draw political mileage.



Punjab Assembly Speaker felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
The Punjab Assembly Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, who has been nominated as Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Committee at its conference held in Australia recently, was felicitated at a function held at Kohara village, near here, yesterday by SAD functionaries and electorate of Koom Kalan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Atwal attributed the honour to the good wishes of the people and grace of God. He said the committee comprised 56 member countries and 165 independent branches. “It is for the first time that a Punjabi from whole of Asia and Northern India is nominated to the post of Vice-Chairman”. The nomination, he added, was not an honour of an individual but for the state of Punjab and the entire country.

Mr Daya Singh, president, District Akali Jatha (Rural), Mr Pritpal Singh Grewal, president, Market Committee, Ludhiana, Mr Santa Singh Umedpuri, president, Market Committee, Sahnewal, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting president, District Akali Jatha (Urban), Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Director, Markfed, Mr Avtar Singh Mehlon, general secretary, BKU, Mr Kuldip Singh Jatiwal, member, District Planning and Development Board, and Mr Charan Singh Chaunta also addressed the function.

Earlier, Mr Atwal was taken in a procession to Gurdwara Charan Kanwal, Machhiwara, where he expressed his gratitude to the large number of people for reposing their faith in him. He assured that he would continue to strive for the overall development of the area.

Among others, Mr Gurcharan Singh Mithewal, chairman, Market Committee, Machhiwara, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Mr Kiran Pal Singh, circle vice-president, Mr Ajmer Singh Bhagpur, Mr Gurcharan Singh Mehraban, Mr Baldev Singh, Sarpanch, Hawaas, Mr Bakhshish Singh, Sarpanch, Pawat, and Mr Karamjit Singh Bhaironmunna also attended the function.



SAD(B) begins wooing trade and industry
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
As the assembly elections in the state draw near political parties, which matter, have commenced elaborate exercises to win away sections of the electorate by addressing their typical problems and handing out promises for remedial steps. In a bid to shed the rural image, the SAD(B) leadership has also initiated measures to interact with members of the trade and industry so that their day to day problems could be mitigated.

The newly appointed adviser of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, has urged the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to take effective steps for improvement in power supply, revamping the sales tax structure and to put an end to persistent harassment by traffic police in the cities.

Mr Aggarwal, who had earlier met a cross-section of traders and several industrial associations, in a letter to Mr Badal, has drawn his attention towards the perennial problem of erratic power supply, prolonged power cuts, breakdowns and shut downs. The small scale and tiny sector of the industry, he pointed out, was badly hit. In particular, the hosiery industry was the worst sufferer because loss of production due to irregular power supply and massive power cut had disrupted the supplies during the peak season. He called for immediate measures to arrange power from alternate sources and complete withdrawal of power cut till the festival season was over.

Calling for streamlining the sales tax department, the SAD(B) adviser rued that the usual harassment of traders and industrialists was stepped up in the wake of approaching festival season. To make matters worse, the trading community had to pay higher transportation charges but the detention of goods by the Sales Tax Department at check barriers and elsewhere delayed the deliveries and caused immense loss of business.

Mr Aggarwal also made a fervent plea for reduction in the rate of sales tax and simplification of the taxation structure. “Earlier experience during the last financial year had proved that the reduced rate of sales tax fetched more revenue to the government.” There was no reason that reduced rates of sales tax on various commodities should not be continued.

He was critical of the high-handedness of the traffic police and indiscriminate challaning on trivial faults in towns and cities. While the traffic police had a job top do and were responsible for smooth flow of traffic, the least they could do was to issue a clearance slip to the vehicle that all documents were in order so that at the time of subsequent checking such clearance slips could be produced rather than the time consuming process of verification of all the documents.



PAU employees’ federations unite
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 25
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees’ United Front got a shot in the arm today, when almost all office-bearers of the PAU Employees’ Seva Dal joined the constituent PAU Employees Federation led by Mr Avtar Singh Deol.

Those who joined today included Mr Assa Singh Pannu, chairman, Mr Satish Sood, general secretary; Mr S.K. Rajput, vice-president, Mr Satish Sood, general secretary; Mr S.K. Rajput, vice-chairman; Mr Om Parkash, chief adviser, Mr Harbans Singh Satsangi, chief adviser; Mr Inderpal Singh, press secretary, Mr Joga Singh, organising secretary, Mr G.C. Bhardwaj, cashier, and workers of Sewa Dal.

These leaders joined at the rally organised by PAU Employees’ United Front near the veterinary college, which was addressed the rally included Mr Jila Ram Bansal, Mr Avtar Singh Arora, Mr Harbans Singh Mundi, Mr Avinash Sharma, Mr R.C. Sudan, Mr Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Mohinder Singh Khanna, Mr Sat Pal Gupta and Mr Jaswant Singh.

Mr Deol, chairman of the front said the present executive had done nothing for the employees of the university and had employed delaying tactics. He impressed upon the employees to cast their vote in favour of the front so that the long-pending demands, which included revision of scales of laboratory attendants, implementation of Supreme Court decision, regularisation of 63 days ‘ strike period, cases of jeep-car drivers and tractor drivers G-4, special allowance cases and inclusion of left-out categories, were taken up on priority basis.



Mai Bhago Divas celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle organised Mai Bhago Divas at the Mai Bhago College for Women, Ramgarh, here yesterday.

Students from the Ramgarhia College for Women enthralled the audience with ‘vaar’ and poetry recitation on the life of Mai Bhago. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Inderjeet Kaur, Chief Organiser, All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar, condemned female foeticide and urged the girls to come forward to fight against the practice.

Principal Ram Singh, Chief Secretary of the study circle, narrated the anecdotes about the life of Mai Bhago and spoke against influence of the Western culture on Indian youth. Prof Prabhjot Kaur of Government College, Chandigarh, stressed that the girls should adopt the virtue of helpfulness while following the footsteps of Mai Bhago. Dr Sarabjot Kaur, president, women wing, said students should devote some time on meditation.

On the occasion, city students who had stood first in the Panjab University examination and sports meet were given prizes. Mr Sarabjeet Singh, Assistant Professor, PAU, and Mr Surjeet Singh, zonal secretary, were also present on the occasion.



Panchayat dept charged with octroi evasion
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 25
The Rural Development and Panchayat Department, Punjab, has been accused of evading octroi duty by the local octroi contractor. A crane of the department has been seized. It had been brought by the department along with a number of other cranes for digging and cleaning drains.

This crane is still in the possession of the contractor and has been parked in the Nagar Panchayat office since Friday. When this correspondent visited the Nagar Panchayat office in this regard, he was told that the crane belonged to Escorts Co and cost Rs 13.5 lakh. It would be released after the payment of octroi amounting Rs 13,500. However, the local Block Development and Panchayat officer said he had been instructed by the higher authorities for not paying the octroi.



Passengers’ plea to railways
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
Mr Santokh Singh, president of the Lohian-Ludhiana Daily Passengers Union, today urged the railway authorities to ensure that the morning passenger train from Lohian arrived at Ludhiana on time so that daily wagers did not lose work.

In a press note issued here today, the union president said the main reason for the delay was the preference being given to the Dhanbad Express as the Lohian train was detained at the Bilga railway station. He said it was an injustice to more than 3,000 labourers and daily wagers suffered wage loss on account of late arrivals.

Mr Singh said connecting the Lohian line with the main line No 1 at Phillaur could solve the problem. He also demanded that the only other train from Lohian to Ludhiana, a DMU, should also be run on time.



Islamic conference postponed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
The All-India Khatme Naboobat Conference, proposed to be held on October 13 here by the All India Majlis-e-Ehrar party, has been put off till next year.

In a press note released here today, the Majlis-e-Ehrar chairman, Mr Ateeq-ur-Rehman, said the decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of the party, which observed that in view of the changed scenario in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the WTC, the conference should be held next year. 


Move to regularise encroachment flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 25
Members of the New Millenium Club, Dugri, have criticised the recent announcement of the district administration, according to which the state government has decided to regularise the illegal occupants on government land in urban areas of Ludhiana.



Politicians are seldom caught on the wrong foot. They can explain anything in any terms, whether the explanation is logical or not. They perfectly know how to wriggle out of tight situations. On certain occasions, they are made to cut a sorry figure. This happened recently during a visit of the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, to Ludhiana. While he was answering questions from journalists, the Deputy Speaker in the Punjab Assembly, Mr Satpal Gosain, joined him. Mr Tandon and Mr Gosain were not enjoying a good relationship. Mr Gosain had often been accusing Mr Tandon of corruption. Of late they had made friends with each other. When Mr Gosain took a seat beside Mr Tandon, a journalist asked him (Mr Gosain), “What about your proclamations that you will make Tandon wear handcuffs?” An embarrassed Mr Gosain had no answers.

Relief at last

The city had been experiencing heat and humidity without any relief in sight. But the recent rain, which coincided with snowfall in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, caused a definite nip in the air, making it pleasant to be outdoors. The change in weather would also minimise incidence of cholera, malaria and viral fever. People associated with the hosiery trade are looking forward to busy times ahead.

Setting example

While various roadside encroachments continued, the SSP, Mr Sidhu, promptly put an end to public gambling in a Focal Point park after the newspaper carried a report that certain policemen were collecting Rs 160 per day from the gamblers making use of the park. The example should suffice for those who think it is the duty of a journalist to get encroachments removed and to highlight the same.

Traffic jams

Damoria bridge, a vital link between the old city and the Civil Lines area, continues to be a nightmare for road users due to frequent traffic jams during peak hours. The problem is compounded by those residents of Chhawni Mohalla, who dart in and out of the locality using the road parallel to the railway lines. More often than not, it is a rickshaw-cart, a hand-cart or a horse-cart, which impedes the traffic.

Online friends

The cyber cafes have reduced hourly rates and e-mail friendships are growing. Some guys sing paeans to the girl’s beauty even without seeing them. Some take the bait, feel flattered and exchange phone numbers. When they meet, both parties are disappointed.

Poor listeners

Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt came to Ludhiana recently. During his performance the inattentive and talkative crowd was asked to be quiet by the maestro. The anchor asked the crowd to wait for another 10 minutes. The show ended in bad taste.

Road dividers

The orange-coloured plastic glow dividers placed at various places in the city a few months back now lie broken. At some places, these have become sharp-edged. These glittering dividers could have improved the traffic situation on the city roads if these had been maintained well.

No use calling

People have to face disappointment whenever they call up the inquiry office at the local railway station (phone numbers 131 and 132 ), thanks to the indifferent attitude of the authorities. While one of these phones has been out of order for the past few months, the second one is never picked up by the employees manning the counter. They cite the shortage of staff for the reason, but the railway officials are not ready to accept their argument.

Soft at heart

The gathering at an official function was surprised at the sudden appearance of two old, poor women. They had come on learning about the presence of some VIP at the function. They wanted to apprise him of their problems and seek money from him. They even had a bowl with them. On being told that the VIP was a minister and could not distribute money like that, they apprised the security personnel of their health problems, which touched the cops.

It’s party time

The outgoing Principal of the Khalsa College for Women can boast of a rare honour of being given seven farewell parties. She has prepared a complete schedule of the parties being given in her honour by various departments of the college. The parties, which began early this month, would continue till September 30.

22 days late

On September 27, Teachers’ Day was observed at Nauhria Mal Jain Model Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, where Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, had agreed to preside. Asked why the programme was being organised so late, the authorities said they were busy earlier. Last year, it had celebrated the day almost a fortnight late.

Perfumed body

Policemen have, of late, devised a novel method to escape at least the foul smell emanating from mutilated bodies. There appears to be some unwritten rule which says the junior a cop is, the closest he stands to the body. A constable struggling hard to tolerate the smell sprayed two bottles of perfume over the body.

Tractors ahoy

The overmechanisation of agriculture in Punjab is a problem for experts, especially in view of the WTO implications, where focus is on precision farming. But the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University is perhaps very religiously thinking about the overmechanisation. That is why in all his lectures, he has a reference of the number of tractors in the state as well as their total cost. He is seen talking about a few examples, where the farmers have purchased tractors even if they have only 10 acres.

Privileged lot

The bodyguards of a local religious leader believe that they are a privileged lot. Four of them entered a shop of refreshments recently and created a ruckus. They started talking on top of their voice. The shopkeeper had to leave other customers aside.

— Sentinel



Factory manager accused of theft
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 25
A factory owner has alleged that the manager of his factory absconded with his car and sale proceeds of the company yesterday.

According to an FIR registered at the Sahnewal police station on Monday, Mr Rakesh Jain, owner of Om Foamers Factory, Laton Dana village, has alleged that Manoj Kumar, manager of the factory for the past one year who was a native of Bankati of Gopalganj district in Bihar, came to the factory yesterday morning and took away his car (PB-10X-7835) along with Rs 2 lakh. He alleged Manoj had collected money in advance from the customers before running away.

A case has been registered against the accused under Section 381 of the IPC.

Case registered:
A case under Sections 307 and 279 of the IPC has been registered against Malkit Singh of Ludhiana, a bus driver, on the charge of running away with his vehicle (DL-1P-8438) on Monday night when he was asked to stop by the police at a check-post. 


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