Tuesday, December 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Encroachments mar beautification drive in Khanna
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 17
Narrow political interests have led to the downfall of the much-publicised ‘Beautification and Save Environment Scheme’ launched by the Khanna Municipal Committee in 1996 in the town. Aimed at beautifying the town with construction of a number of parks on both sides of the National Highway No 1, the scheme has failed to achieve the desired results as, thanks to the apathetic attitude of the authorities and the political interference, all the parks have been encroached upon.

Instead of lush green lawns, flowers and trees, one witnesses heaps of garbage or rows of vehicles and even ‘dhabas’ and ‘rehris’ on the park premises. Sources said the municipal committee had planned several times to clear the encroachments and beautify these parks, but these moves had to be cancelled under political pressure. One such drive was almost finalised in November this year, but the local politicians again spoiled the show. They argued that such a harsh step during the festival season would cause resentment among shopkeepers (or encroachers?).

While the politicians may have reaped benefits by supporting these encroachers, it is the image of the city that has taken the beating. The parks constructed and developed at a huge cost could have provided a beautiful look to the town. But now these parks have become the most ugly spots in the township.

More than 30 such parks, each having a boundary wall of its own were constructed during the tenure of Mr R.K. Verma, SDM, in 1996. Apart from the aim of beautification, the parks were aimed at preventing encroachment on the roadside as it would hamper the future expansion of roads. A large number of flower plants and trees were planted, but gradually, the shopkeepers, transporters, ‘rehriwallahs’, scooter and cycle repair shops began encroaching upon these parks.

The things have come to such a pass that the boundaries of the parks have disappeared. These have become parking places for vehicles especially trucks and taxis. Many persons are pocketing huge profits by running their shops on these parks even as the public gives taxes to the government for providing it beautiful surroundings.

The Ludhiana Tribune team talked to some of the encroachers. Stressing not to be quoted, they said they were here with the permission of such and such leader. Enquiries also revealed that shopkeepers began encroaching upon these parks in a move to compete with each other. If one encroached upon some area the other, instead of stopping him from doing so, encroached upon the area in front of his shop.

Mr A.S. Sekhon, EO, Municipal Committee, Khanna, when contacted said he had taken over just few months ago and had already finalised a plan to remove the encroachments. He said he was not in a position to comment on the manner in which encroachments started as it happened before his posting in the town.

He said the municipal committee had been apprised of the problem and an anti-encroachment drive would soon be launched.


High morale will help in World Cup: Baljit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
Captain of the winning Indian squad in the Champions Challenge Hockey Tournament, Baljit Singh Dhillon, was accorded a warm welcome by enthusiastic hockey lovers, his relatives and friends at Ludhiana Railway Station, on Monday.

The minute, Delhi- Amritsar Shatabdi Express reached Ludhiana Junction, people swarmed the bogie in which the ‘great son’ of Punjab along with four other members of the team — Daljit Dhillon, Yugraj Singh, Kamapreet Singh and Prabhjot Singh was boarded. Hockey fans, who were eagerly waiting for their hero's arrival, started dancing on the beats of drum and distributed sweets to everyone present at Platform No. 2. After that, Baljit was escorted by friends and family members along with a large number of hockey lovers to the Railway Rest House while the other players left for Jalandhar.

While interacting with mediapersons, Baljit said, ‘‘After this third consecutive victory by India in the international hockey tournaments, there are fair chances of the team winning the forthcoming World Hockey Cup scheduled to be held next year at Kuala Lumpur.’’ He informed, ‘‘Though during the just concluded championship we played well, but we could have played better than we did as our penalty corner conversion in the tournament remained less than 50 per cent."

Baljit, however, hoped, ‘‘We would definitely perform well in the forthcoming World Cup, provided we overcome the handicap of low rate of penalty corner conversion. In the Champions Challenge Cup Tournament, we clinched the top position because we maintained our speed by changing players quite often. This not only gave chance to the substitute players to perform their best, but also provided a breather to other players of the team.’’

Baljit disclosed that they would try to rectify their shortcomings during the next training camp of the Indian hockey team slated be held next month in Singapore where they would also play practice matches against Argentina and Belgium to prepare themselves for the next World Cup. The junior players, Daljit Dhillon, Deepak Thakur, Kamalpreet, Yugraj Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh came in for praise, as the captain expressed his desire to groom them for the senior team.

Those present at the railway station included, Mr Surjit Singh Grewal and Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Grewal Sports Association, Kila Rai pur.


Working women under greater stress: study
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
Women in the city will face problems of retarded thinking, social withdrawal, fatigue and weight loss if they do not control the level of stress. Besides, both the working as well as non-working women when in stress, take out their frustration and misery on children and uncontrolled stress can create some other problems.

A study was conducted by Harshpinder, a student of Punjab Agricultural University, under the guidance of Dr P. Aujla, Associate Professor, Department of Family Resource Management, PAU, recently to investigate psychological and physiological effects of stress on working and non-working women in the city.

A total of 150 women from Haibowal, PAU campus, Bharat Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar areas were asked to fill a questionnaire. All these women were in the age group of 18 to 60 years.

Headache, backache, gastric problems, loss of appetite, weakness, insomnia and blood pressure were the most frequently experienced physiological effects of stress in both working and non-working women. But working women were more affected by stress as compared to non-working women.

The results showed that worry and tension were reported by both categories though it was slightly more in working women. However, feeling of insecurity during stress was more in non-working women. Both categories stated that they got irritated over minor issues during stress and remained self-occupied with different types of thoughts.

It was also found that these women took out their frustration on their children. Such women often beat up and abuse their children. These women also found it difficult to maintain home properly. Working women experienced loss of love and affection for members of family during stress, but this effect was not prominent in non-working women.

During a period of stress, non-working women generally stopped whatever work they were doing and preferred to be alone and sit idle (withdrawal symptoms from work).Working women reported decrease in working capacity, but did not prefer to remain absent from work as they tried to get relief from stress by socialising at workplace.

The study concluded though physiological and psychological effects of stress were found in both working and non-working women yet the frequency of the effects of stress was more in working women. It may be because working women had to cope not only with all the pressures of the professional work, but also have to bear the strains of being a housewife.


Investment company penalised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
In an ex parte order, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Western India Securities Limited, Safdur Jung Enclave, New Delhi, to pay Rs 7,998 to a local resident, Ms Ranjana Bansal. The forum has also directed the company to pay compensation on account of deficiency in services in the shape of interest at the rate of 18 per cent from the date deposit of principal till its actual payment along with Rs 500 as cost of litigation to the consumer.

According to the complaint, Ms Ranjana Bansal had deposited Rs 5,114 with the company on November 20, 1997. The representative of the complainant, Mr S.D. Nagpal stated before the forum that the company had issued a fixed deposit receipt (FDR) alongwith post-dated cheques of Rs 5,114 and 2,884 on account of principal and interest on the amount.

Mr Nagpal said, “The said cheques were returned to the complainant on the scheduled date. He pointed out that despite giving a notice to the company to pay the principal and interest on it, the same was not paid to consumer. It was contended that this amounted to deficiency in service on the part of the company.

The forum observed that according the documents produced by the complainant, he had deposited Rs 5,114 and a maturity amount of Rs 7,998 was payable to him by the company. The forum further observed that the amount due was payable by the respondent on January 20, 2000, but the same had not been paid to consumer so far.

The forum held that there was deficiency in services on the part of the company in not paying the said amount and the respondent was liable to pay the same to the complainant.


6 hurt in clash between cops, slum dwellers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A clash between some slum-dwellers and a police party left at least six persons including two policemen, injured near Bhagat Singh Nagar late last night. The incident has stirred up a row due to conflicting claims over the issue of clash made by the two parties.

According to the police, a case has been registered against five persons, all slum dwellers for attacking the police personnel last night. The police blamed the persons for the problem. They claimed that the police party had gone to the slums to stop some people from fighting in the slums. They said the slum dwellers were rioting in the area in drunken state. However, when the cops intervened, the slum dwellers attacked them and six persons were injured as the policemen tried to control the fight.

However, the injured person said the police was falsely implicating them in the case. They said they were drinking in their huts, when some policemen came there. They demanded a share in liquor or money from the slum dwellers. They claimed as they refused to do so the policemen began abusing them and beating them. They said they suffered injuries due to attack by policemen.


Muslims decry equating Islam with terrorism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Thousands of Muslims here today decried the attempts of certain vested interests to equate Islam with terrorism. They also condemned the terrorist actions committed in the name of “jehad”, which have brought a bad name to Islam. They said, “jehad” was being misused and crimes were being committed in its name.

Addressing a massive Id congregation here today, the Punjab president of the Indian Muslim Council, Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, while condemning the December 13 attack on the Parliament pointed out that Islam warrants jehad only against oppression. “Jehad does not mean killing innocent people”, he asserted, while asking people to raise their hands to condemn acts of terror.

At the same time, Mr Rehman regretted that the mistakes of a few people were being attributed to the entire community. He pointed out, Muslims were as much patriotic as any other community and had openly condemned the acts of terrorism. He criticised the people who were trying to equate the entire Islamic community with terrorism. He said, Islam preaches humanism and love for all. “No religion including the Islam allows violence or oppression. Those who are trying to use the name of Islam for justifying their acts of violence thus bringing a bad name to the entire community”, he pointed out.

Speaking on the occasion, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, regretted that the government had not so far provided space to the Muslims for Idgah. He pointed out, there were over one lakh people in the city who offered prayers on Id every year and still there was no Idgah. He said, “In case the government was not interested in providing us the land, we do not want it”.

As a mark of protest, the Shahi Imam had not invited any of the ministers or the government officials to the function. He regretted, although the Muslim community had great expectations from this government, yet it had proved no different from the previous governments. He said, “for five years we were kept waiting and at the end we were provided nothing”.

The Shahi Imam also highlighted the importance of Id-ul-fitr, which is celebrated after the completion of the holy month of Ramzan, during which the Muslims keep fast. He said, the festival also represents the spirit of renunciation and sacrifice as the devout Muslims do not take any food for the entire day during this month. It also makes people impose strict self discipline on themselves.

Later, as many as 1 lakh persons offered prayers at the Field Ganj mosque. The entire area was colourfully decorated and there were long rows of people bowing in unison. Due to the paucity of space inside the mosque complex, thousands of people offered their prayers on the road, which had been sealed by the administration.

The festival also reflected the secular spirit of the people, with members of other communities joining their Muslim brethren in festivities. Prominent among those who had come to greet the Muslims today included Akali Dal vice-president Amarjit Singh Bhatia, president of the Gurdwara Dukhniwaran.


Facelift to Industrial Area
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 17
The Municipal Corporation has prepared a plan to give a facelift to the Industrial Area, Industrial Estate and Industrial Focal Point in the city. The comprehensive scheme envisages resurfacing of roads, re-laying link roads in the area of industrial sheds, providing street-lights, installing of traffic lights on the Arora Palace crossing on Gill Road, augmentation of water supply, renovation of parks and improvement in the sanitation level.

Interacting with members of industry during a meeting of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) here, the MC Commissioner Mr R.L. Kalsia, informed that estimates worth Rs 70 lakh for roads in the Industrial area and another Rs 1.30 crore for surfacing of roads in the Focal Point stood approved and the work would be taken in hand soon.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan and Mr Avtar Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the CICU highlighted the pathetic state of the civic infrastructure in the Industrial Area, the Industrial estate and the Focal Point, despite the fact that the industry made a sizeable contribution to the MC revenue by way of house tax, water and sewerage charges and other local taxes.

The Commissioner said that necessary steps would be initiated for proper upkeep and renovation of 25 parks in the Industrial Area and qualitative improvement in the sanitation level. The problem of water shortage in some of these areas would also be addressed. He, however, impressed upon the members of industry to pay their local taxes promptly and arrears, if any, to enable the civic body to perform in a better way.

Responding to the demand for removal of encroachments, Mr Kalsia issued on the spot directions to Zonal Commissioner, Mr B.K. Gupta, to take immediate action for removal of both temporary and permanent encroachments and to take stern steps against the defaulters. He expressed his limitation over the rates of house tax on commercial and industrial properties in the city, saying it was the prerogative of the state government. However, the MC would undertake the reassessment of house tax on the basis of three categories of premises and efforts would be made to rationalise the structure. The demand that possession of TS-I certificate from the MC be considered as a ‘no dues’ certificate, was also conceded.

Mr Kalsia further told the members of the industry that completion of a flyover at the Dhuri line in May 2002 and another at Dhandari Kalan in December 2002 would ease the traffic conditions between the city and the Industrial Areas to a great extent. He assured to favourably consider the demand for construction of an under bridge on the railway line near Upper India Steel like the one existing near Sherpur bypass chowk on the condition that 50 per cent of the cost was borne by the Focal Point Sheds Association.


Tongues wag as Congress withholds announcement
Ticket aspirants’ hopes soar
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The decision of the Congress high command to withhold the announcement of Assembly ticket to the sitting MLA, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, has sparked off speculations and raised expectations of other aspirants.

The announcement on the ticket from Samrala has been withheld owing to charges of corruption against Mr Dhillon. His name has allegedly figured in the fertiliser scam, regarding subsidy to fertiliser manufacturers. He also is related to a senior SAD leader and Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha.

Although the Congress may have adequate alibi to withhold or deny ticket to Mr Dhillon, it may not be easy for the party to find a strong candidate. Mr Dhillon withstood the SAD wave in 1997 and defeated Mr Kirpal Singh Khirnia by 1400 votes. A new entrant to the political arena, Mr Dhillon has been charged with having pocketed the subsidy granted for the manufacture of fertilisers. The case is pending with the Vigilance Department at Patiala.

Mr Dhillon, a liquor baron, has considerable clout in the constituency. Though he was in the opposition, he managed to retain his influence in the area. He has got many relatives in the area, who have been of immense help to him during the elections.

In his absence, the chairman of the block samiti and sarpanch of Madpur village, Mr Bhupinder Singh Benipal, is the strongest contender for the party ticket. Besides being a relative of Beant Singh, soft-spoken Benipal is considered to be very close to Capt Amarinder Singh. He is presently the Joint Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. He may prove to be the best bet for the Congress after Mr Dhillon.

Mr Kirpal Singh Khirnia is likely going to be the SAD candidate again. He is also a member of the SGPC and a close associate of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He has been acting as a de facto MLA of the area, getting a lot of grants for development works.

With government machinery at his disposal and his favourites among officials in the administration, he enjoys great influence in the area.

Much will also depend on the performance of the Panthic Morcha candidate. The former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, also wields great influence in the area.


Young Voice
Unravelling the secrets of beauty

NATASHA Ahluwalia is just 21 and she has already made her mark felt in the world of beauty culture. She has been doing solo workshops on beauty culture for the past two years. This has given her such a great confidence to claim, “age may add to your experience, but it has nothing to do with talent”.

Natasha has picked up the art of beauty culture from her mother Indira Ahluwalia. And learning has polished her heart. She has attended seminars and workshops across the country and also abroad. The massive exposure she got at this young age, besides giving her confidence has further polished her talent.

Today Natasha is as much in demand as her mother. “She is both, my pride as well as envy”, remarks her mother with great sense of achievement and possession. Success has not got to her head. She maintains her cool during all situations. “This is a beginning only, for the world is too wide and big to be conquered so soon”, remarks a modest Natasha.


Focus on pending demands on Pensioners’ Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, today assured the government pensioners that their problems related to the government treasury, nationalised banks, office of the Civil Surgeon and other government departments would be redressed speedily and further the state government would be asked to accept and implement of their pending demands.

In his presidential address at the ‘Pensioners’ Day’ celebrations in Punjabi Bhavan here, Mr Sandhu said a ‘Pensioners’ Information and Welfare Centre’ was being set up in the Mini Secretariat here. A piece of land near the treasury office had been earmarked for this purpose and a site plan and estimate of Rs 15.36 lakh prepared for this purpose, which awaited allocation of funds.

The function, organised in response to a call given by the Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation (PSPC) under the aegis of the Retirees Welfare Association, was attended by more than 600 pensioners from all over the district.

The chief guest, Mr Sandhu, released a booklet ‘Why 17th December has been chosen for celebration of Pensioners Day’, compiled by Mr B.R. Kaushal, state president of the PSPC on this occasion.

Various speakers, including Mr B.R. Kaushal, Mr Sardar Singh Ghulal, Mr Jagdev Singh Grewal, Mr Jagpal Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Charanjit Singh, Col H.S. Kahlon, Mr H.K. Sood and Mr Jarnail Singh deliberated on the subject of ‘Issues before the pensioners and their role in the present scenario’, besides focussing on their pending demands, which were a part of the 15-point charter of demands, based on the recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission in part III of its report.

The representatives of pensioners lamented the indifferent attitude of the government and alleged deliberate delay in acceptance and implementation of various demands like revision of pension to the extent of 50 per cent of the revised scale, merger of 97 per cent of DA treating it as dearness pay, grant of additional pension at the rate of 0.6 per cent of the average emoluments for each period of six months of service over and above qualifying service of 33 years, grant of travel concession to both husband and wife pensioners, fixed monthly medical allowance of Rs 500, grant of enhanced rate of expenses on health aids and restoration of commuted pension facility.

Several octogenarian pensioners like Mr Ujagar Singh, Mr Joginder Singh and Mr Jagjit Singh Bhullar were honoured by the chief guest by giving them a shawl, a memento and a citation letter each at the function.


YC activists burn Musharraf’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Hundreds of Youth Congress activists led by the chairman of the Indian Youth Congress (Urban Development Cell), Mr Pawan Dewan, today took out a procession and also burnt the effigy of the Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistan Flag, to protest against the December 13 suicide attack on the Parliament House by Pakistan's supported militants.

The procession started from the local Congress office and concluded at the Clock Tower. The activists were carrying banners and placards and raised slogans against Pakistan. They were demanding strong action against the culprits apprehending that further delay on part of the government may further encourage the terrorist forces.

Speaking on the occasion the District Congress Committee president, Mr Surinder Dawer, described the attack on Parliament as an attack on Indian democracy. He demanded strong action against terrorists. He stressed upon the government to smash the terrorist training camps in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He observed that this was the only way left for the government to stop terrorism.

Mr Pawan Dewan urged upon the international community to recognise the threat being posed by Pakistan to the world peace by abetting terrorism. He demanded that Pakistan should be declared a terrorist state. He urged the countrymen to unite at this crucial hour of crisis and observed that the government should also take opposition parties into confidence to formulate a comprehensive policy for combating terrorism. Mr Dewan also criticised the Vajpayee government for its failure to curb terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. He claimed that the the government had failed miserably to provide security to people.

Mr Akshay Bhanot, district president of the cell, exhorted the youth to unite and fight against the menace of terrorism. He asserted that the youth of the country were prepared to fight terrorism with their own might.

Prominent among those who participated in the demonstration were Mr Jarnail Singh Grewal, Nirmal Keda, Navneesh Malhotra, Munish Tandon, Pammi Sidhu, Abba Jain, Randhir Singh Nikka, Charanjit Sonu, Kulwant Singh Ankhi, Inderjeet Khurana, Avtar Singh Kanda, Balwanider Taggar, Kulwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh Grewal, Amit Kumar, Amarjit Rani, Naresh Vats, Hardip Singh Happy, Bittu, Sanjeev Nahar, Tilak Raj, R S Yadav, Manmohan Singh Vohra, Sukhdev Raj Kala, Rakesh Kalia and Prince.


Malnutrition looms large, says study
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
The danger of malnutrition is looming large over children belonging to lower socio-economic strata and those living in charitable institutions of the state, according to a study conducted by the Department of Food and nutrition, Punjab Agricultural University.

As per the study conducted by Dr Rajbir Sachdeva and Ms Simran Chugh, the dietary intake of cereals, green leafy vegetables, fat, sugar and jaggery was inadequate. A sample of 60 boys aged between 10 and 12 years, including 30 living in institutions in Ludhiana and Amritsar (Group I) and 30 living in homes belonging to lower socio-economic groups of Ludhiana (Group II) were selected.

The consumption of pulses and roots products exceeded the RDAs in Group I, but were grossly deficient in Group II. Intake of energy, protein, fat, riboflavin, niacin and iron was inadequate in both groups. Intake of retinol, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid and calcium exceeded the RDA’s in Group I as compared to Group II. Anthropometric measurements like height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference and triceps skin-fold thickness was higher in Group I as compared to Group II.

Viral fever, malaria, diarrhoea, common cold and cough were common diseases prevalent in both groups. Scabies was seen in 16.7 per cent of respondents in Group II, but was absent in Group I. Better levels of packed cell volume and RBC count were observed in Group I as compared to Group II.

It was observed that 10 per cent and 30 per cent of the children in Group I and Group II fell in low intelligence category, respectively. Majority of the respondents in Group II were undernourished due to nutritional deprivation as compared to those in Group I.


Canal bridge inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
The Punjab Mandi Board Chairman, Mr Mal Singh Ghuman, inaugurated a Rs 58 lakh canal bridge and a water supply scheme in the Barewal locality and also laid the foundation stone of a community centre in the area, falling in ward 44 in the city yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ghuman focussed on the unprecedented development works, undertaken by the SAD-BJP government during the past four and half years, with greater emphasis on infrastructure development in the state. “Punjab has witnessed allround development under the regime of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and so many development works have been completed that were not seen during almost 45 years of Congress rule,” he said.

Mr Ghuman made an appeal to people to rally round the SAD-BJP coalition and give a another mandate in favour of the ruling alliance. He assured that he would take up the demand for the allotment of party ticket from the Dakha Assembly segment in the district to Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, the area councillor.

Former MP Amrik Singh Aliwal acknowledged that Mr Shivalik had made earnest and result oriented efforts towards development of his ward and the entire population, more or less, enjoyed the basic amenities of a reasonably good quality.

Prominent among others present at the function were Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting president of the district Akali Jatha (Urban), Mr Gagan Parkash Singh Bhanohar, Mr Harsuirnder Singh Gill, Mr Surinder Singh Grewal, Mr Rachpal Singh Talwara, Mr Swaran Singh, sarpanch, Tihara, Mr Baljit Singh, sarpanch, Haibowal, Mr Manjinderpal Singh, sarpanch, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Ratan Singh Kamalpuri, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Hoshiar Singh, sarpanch, Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh Anand, Mr Shadi Ram and Mr Prithipal Singh Anand, Mr Shadi Ram and Mr Prithipal Singh.


Ludhiana’s image makers

Ludhiana, December 17
Factors that determine the growth of a town or city are universal. But the causes of decay or decline may not be the same in all cases. Ludhiana is simultaneously growing as well as decaying. Growth is measured in terms of quantity, and decay is noticed from organic decomposition and hospitals. A vital factor of growth that remains hidden is its contribution to the arts. The city has a score of classical vocalists as well as instrumentalists. They are not deterred by the deafening loudspeakers. Their faith in music and in the purity of ragas, presents the city in their musical way.

Despite an unsuitable environment and lack of suitable art galleries, painters are pursuing their objective in silence. All may not rise to Harkrishan Lall’s level, but they hold promise. They are the image-makers of this decaying metro of ours. One admires their commitment to their art.

In this part of the country, some cities have acquired fame of one kind or the other. Amritsar has Gurbani Kirtan, besides a taste for good food. Jalandhar stands for classical music, the media and journalism, Chandigarh for Panjab University and the PGI, Patiala has its arts and crafts and palaces. Ludhiana has produced scholars who have attracted wide notice. The number of awards received by its residents confer on this city an academico- literary recognition. Ludhiana’s literary figures add an excellent dimension to its image

Limiting it to Punjabi and further to Sahitya Akademi (Delhi), we find that among the 46 recipients of the award since its inception in 1956, Seven belong to Ludhiana as one-time residents. They include Prof Mohan Singh, (1959, Wadda Vela ), Prof Sant Singh Sekhon (1972, Mittar Piara), Sohan Singh Seetal (1974, Jug Badal Giya), Kulwant Singh Virk (1968, Naven Lok), Gulzar Singh Sandhu (1982, Amar Katha). Prof Mohan Singh was on the staff of PAU as Professor Emeritus. Mr Virk and Mr Sandhu served with distinction its Department of Communication.

Dr Surjit Pattar (1993, Hanerey vich sulghdi varnmala) is a distinguished poet who represented India at the Colombia Poetry Festival (South America). He won applause at China, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, etc. To the list of awardees, Prof N S Tasneem is the latest addition. His novel Gwache Arth topped the Punjabi entries of 1999.

Prof Tasneem made his debut in Urdu with his novel Sogwar (1960).Mona Lisa (1962) was a welcome addition. He is a scholar and a critic. He has won several awards. His works are available in English (Glittering Sands etc.) and in Hindi Raat ke Ujaale, 1980, Andhera Hone takk (1998). He has authored 10 novels . His rendering of poetry merits special attention.

These literary personalities are the image-makers of the city.

M.S. Cheema


Inqalabi Kender flays govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
Leaders of Inqalabi Kender will organise a convention and protest rally against the policies of government on December 20 at Mini Secretariat.

Mr Jaswant Singh, president and Mr Kuldeep Singh, secretary, of the district unit of kender in a joint statement flayed the BJP and its allies for failing to control the major problems of poverty and unemployment.

The members alleged that the corruption in the country had crossed all limits and the government had totally failed in controlling it. Several farmers had also committed suicide because of the policies of government. The leaders said that recent attack on Parliament was another example that the government had also failed to curb terrorism in the country.


Ban on payment of DA decried
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, December 17
The Punjab State Subordinate Services Federation had condemned the state government for banning the payment of DA, arrears and loans against the GPF.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari, state president, Mr Harbans Singh Cheema, district president and Master Sikander Singh Jartoli alleged in a joint statement that it was a populist exercise. As the ban had been in force for the past two months, some employees had to borrow money from money lenders to deposit even their wards’ fees, they added.

The federation also announced its support to the Punjab Anganwari Union’s struggle against moves to terminate the services of certain employees arbitrarily.


Contest for amateur fashion designers
Our Correspondent

A model displays a dress designed by an NIFD student who won the second prize in the contest.
A model displays a dress designed by an NIFD student who won the second prize in the contest.
— Photo Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, December 17
To help the students explore their creativity, an amateur fashion designers’ contest was organised at the Guru Nanak Polytechnic for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, last evening.

Seven rounds were organised in which young girls, boys and kids dressed up in designer wear sashayed on the ramp. In the first round titled ‘Smiling spring’, 24 outfits adorned with flowers, twigs and floral paints were displayed. Designer wear for kids was presented in the second round titled ‘Planet kids’ with tiny tots from Guru Nanak International Public School. Dresses for use while trekking, gliding and other sports were displayed in a round ‘Ruff and tuff’.

Designer casual stuff, including T-shirts with various quotations, graphic prints and funny faces were shown in a round titled ‘Imagination’. In ‘Nirvana’ round, traditional wear like sarees and lehngas were presented. In the final round ‘Space Age’ dresses for techno-savvy people were displayed.

Prizes were given to the best designer of each round. Sarpreet, Gurpreet, Deepak Jain, Arun Bharti, Sunil Vinayak and Gurleen were declared the best designers for various rounds. Gurleen and Pawandeep won the first prize for ‘Space Age’ round jointly.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, and his wife Ms Bably Sandhu presided over the function. 


Plastic bag manufacturers sore over reports
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
The manufacturers of recycled plastic carrybags are sore over misleading reports, suggesting that the use of recycled plastic bags was banned in the state, which had caused immense loss to the industry in terms of loss of business.

Addressing a news conference here Mr Kanwar Singh (Kori) and Mr Gurjeet Singh Bedi, president and general secretary, respectively of the Punjab Plastic Recycled Manufacturers Association maintained that the Recycled Plastic Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999, recycled plastic carrybags of more than 20 microns (80 gauge) could be used for all purposes of packaging, except for storing and carrying of ready to eat foodstuff.

They further informed that the recycling of plastic had to be undertaken in accordance with the Bureau of Indian Standards, entitled “The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics.”

The Punjab Pollution Control Board, they added, had amply clarified the position on the use of plastic carrybags of more than 20 microns through newspaper advertisements and the public should have no misgivings about the use of recycled plastic bags for all kinds of packaging purposes as stipulated in the relevant rules.

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