Saturday, April 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC contractor forges ADC’s signature?
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 12
In order to push a file through for approval of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation, an MC contractor is said to have forged the signatures of the Additional Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh. The file pertained to the revised estimate for construction of a fire brigade building in the Haibowal locality, which was estimated to cost Rs 71.33 lakh but the cost was later revised to Rs 85.39 lakh.

In a complaint lodged with the Senior Superintendent of Police, the MC administration has called for an investigation and registration of a criminal case against the culprits under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.

The MC Additional Commissioner Mr Raminder Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the work for construction of the building was allotted to M/s H.P. Singh Chadha vide F&CC resolution no 3968 dated March 29, 2000. While almost 50 per cent of the work was completed, the Tender Inviting Cell (TIC) moved a note on April 1, 2002, that the estimate was prepared on a rough-cost basis without any specific site and design and in view of the additional work involved to make the fire brigade building functional, the enhanced revised estimate should be got approved from the F&CC.

According to the MC official, he had sent the relevant file for comments to the Chief Engineer (CE) on April 3 and the same was personally brought back to him on April 4 by Mr Naveen, son of the MC contractor, Mr D.P. Singh Chadha. Mr Raminder Singh marked the file again to the Chief Engineer with the comments ‘Discuss personally’ and handed the file back to Mr Naveen. To the utter surprise of the MC Additional Commissioner, the file was brought back to him on April 8 by Mr Hartej Singh, Superintendent and PA to City Mayor, who wanted Mr Raminder Singh to write ‘discussed and approved’ in the place where he had put his signatures.

However, Mr Raminder Singh said he distinctly remembered that after he had marked the file to the CE for the second time, it was not presented to him and obviously someone had forged his signatures and even put the official rubber stamp beneath the signatures before submitting the file to the City Mayor for financial approval of the F&CC.

In the complaint, Mr Raminder Singh alleged that the forgery apparently seemed to be have been committed by Mr Naveen, son of the contractor, since the file was in his possession. The police was investigating into the matter.



Bullock-cart race illegal: Maneka 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Continuing her opposition to the bullock-cart races, a noted animal rights activist and Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Ms Maneka Gandhi, has said she would ensure that such races are not organised at any sports meet, including Kila Raipur Rural Olympics.

Talking to mediapersons here last evening, she argued that under an Act of Parliament enacted in 1960, bullock-cart races were illegal since it caused cruelty to the animals. She pointed out the cows, buffaloes and bullock were not meant for race. She said people who use them for races use various cruel methods like chilly, liquor and nails to make them run fast.

She hoped that the district administration would take note of the situation and prevent any such cruelty to the animals. She claimed that last time when the games were held activists of the People for Animals (PFA) were present there.

She disclosed that the bullock-cart races had been banned all over the country and would not be allowed to take place even at Kila Raipur.

She was here along with the noted ghazal singer, Jagjit Singh, to raise funds for various measures for animal welfare. She thanked Jagjit Singh for associating himself with the cause of the animals and helping the PFA to raise funds. She disclosed that the ghazal maestro had performed a similar concert at Sri Fort Auditorium and the money collected was used for the monkey shelter, which has been set up at Gurgaon.

Ms Maneka Gandhi also did not approve of any ‘cruel means’ to curb the menace of stray dogs. She did not agree that stray dogs would eat up people or children. She claimed that in most of the cases the facts were found to be contrary.

However, she agreed that the population of stray dogs needed to be controlled, which she said was possible by adopting animal birth control programme launched by the World Bank. Under the scheme the stray animals are sterilised. She said the programme was quite successful in Chandigarh and suggested that Ludhiana should also adopt it.

Jagjit Singh said it was a great experience for him to sing for the welfare of the animals. Moreover, he pointed out that even according to the tradition one should donate 10 per cent of his earnings. “But in India 30 per cent of your income is taken away by the government,” he added jokingly, while maintaining that singing for such occasions certainly gave him tremendous satisfaction.



Jagjit sings for animal welfare
Our Correspondent

Famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh
Famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh performs at Guru Nanak Bhavan on Thursday.
—Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, April 12
Gifted with velvety voice Jagjit Singh performed at Guru Nanak Bhavan here yesterday. He performed for three hours and the proceeds of the show would go to the People for Animals. Jagjit said he was concerned about the welfare of animals and this was his second performance to help Maneka Gandhi, the chairperson, PFA, to build hospitals for animals.

The songs, ghazal of varied moods in under and Punjabi lifted Ludhiana’s spirits. He started with Hosh walo ko khabar hai, bekhudi kya cheez hai. This was followed by Tere bare mein jab socha nahin tha and “Samundar ne mujhe pyasa rakha, mein jab sehra mein tha pyasanahin tha”.

On peoples’ request he sang, Chand bhi dekha, phool bhi dekha”, “Sunte hain har cheez mil jati hai dua se”. His popular numbers of the yesteryear like “Tera chera kitna suhana lagta hai, tere aage chand kitna purana lagta hai” and “Teri kshuboo mein base khat mein jalata kaisen” and “Yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shourat bhile lo, bhale cheen lo mujhse meri jawani, magar mujhko lauta do, bachpan ka sawaan” had the crowd applauding him lustily.

He also sang from his latest album “Forget Me Not”. The lyrics have been written by the Late Kunwar Mahinderjit Singh” The song was - “Teri berukhiyon, tere meharbaniyan, yahi maut hai, yahi zindagi.” He also rendered ghalib’s “Hazaron khwahishein aisee ki har khwahish pe dam nikle, bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle”.

The switch over to Punjabi songs “Mein ik phirka yaar banaya, sare pind vich puada paaya Billo ni tere gore rang ne” drove the audience wild. “Jind Mahi and Mainu tera shabab lai baitha” further gladdened the hearts of Ludhianvis. The public response was superb.

Maneka Gandhi presented a memento to Mr Jagjit Singh and Dr Sandeep Jain of the PFA presented one to Maneka Gandhi.



Forum penalises auto dealer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed M/s Indo Automobile to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation for mentioning wrong date of manufacturing on sale certificate to Ms Ranjit Kaur. The forum has also directed to pay Rs 500 as cost of litigation to the consumer.

According to the complaint, the consumer had purchased a three-wheeler, Vikram, for Rs 78,000 on May 7, 2000, from the respondent. The consumer stated before the forum that the year of manufacture of the vehicle was 1999 and the fact was apparent from the registration certificate issued by the District Transport Officer. But on the sale certificate issued by the respondent on May 7, 2000, the year of manufacturing was mentioned as 2000 instead of 1999, she added. The consumer alleged that the vehicle dealer misrepresented about the year of manufacturing of the vehicle.

The respondent pleaded that no information was given to the DTO regarding the date of manufacturing and no misrepresentation was ever made to the complainant. It explained that in column 8 of the sale certificate form No. 2, the year of manufacturing only and the respondent had mentioned 2000, which meant the year of sale of vehicle. Moreover, there was no other column in the form where the date of sale of vehicle should have been mentioned.

The respondent maintained that there was no question that there was no alternative with the respondent but to mention the year of sale. The respondent prayed that since there was no negligence or deficiency on its part, the complaint was liable to be dismissed.

The forum observed that according to the document produced, the respondent wrongly mentioned the year of manufacture as 2000 instead of 1999. The forum further observed that, however, there was no evidence to prove that the vehicle sold was an old one. The forum held that a mistake was there in mentioning the year of manufacture.



Voters not registered, asserts Councillor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
Reacting to the press reports that the staff deployed for enumeration of voters in the course of revision of electoral rolls for the coming civic election had not registered large number of new voters in Ward No 51, the area councillor, Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia, has asserted that he had lodged a complaint with the Assistant Election Officer in this regard.

According to Mr Dukhia, the staff on duty had not visited house to house for enumeration of voters in localities in Booth No. 10, including area opposite Gurdwara Kalgidhar, Jail Road to Brown Road up to main chowk, Kucha Inayat, Mohalla opposite division no. 2, Bedi Ice Cream Factory Street and Red Cross Lab to Brown Road.



Tenants in unsafe buildings
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, April 11
Despite the fact that Sections 292 and 294 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation (PMC) Act, 1976, has enabled the Municipal Commissioner to issue instructions for the improvement of buildings unfit for human habitation and had even issued orders to demolish such buildings, there are many such buildings existing in the city which have somehow escaped the MC attention. Greedy landlords have adopted the practice of getting maximum rent by giving minimum space to tenants.

According to the Section 294 (6), for determining whether a building is unfit for human habitation, the Commissioner can seek explanation on matters like repair, stability, freedom from dampness, provision of natural light and air, proper water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences of building. Moreover, not only can he issue show-cause notice to a defaulter, but can also order to demolish building found unfit for human habitation.

Earlier, the rules were being flouted only in the not-so-posh localities. But now the landlords even in posh areas too have also adopted such practice to make a quick buck. Some of these posh areas are Atam Nagar, Model Town, Model Town Extension, Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and Civil Lines.

One such case was detected on Sant Nagar Road in the Civil Lines area, where in a big plot, about 20 small rooms without proper ventilation had been given on rent to more than 70 persons. Two to four persons were living in each room. Surprisingly, for 30-odd persons only one water tap is there. Moreover, the number of toilets is inadequate and these too are stinking and full of filth.

A resident of the locality, Mr Harwant Singh Gill, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said, “These people who live in an unorganised manner have made this place worse than hell, the place is so stinking that it is difficult to stand there even for a second.” He said, “The toilets and bathrooms are without roofs and doors, which often choke after a large number of people use these at a time. Moreover, no separate kitchen is provided to any tenant for cooking and for keeping rations. As a result, they cook food for themselves in the only room.”

The owner of the house, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said, “There is proper water supply in the plot for the tenants. If I am guilty, then there are many others who too should be penalised for doing so. “ However, he admitted having toilets and bathrooms without doors and roofs. He said, “I have given the rooms to these people on rent and now it is their responsibility to maintain the house properly.”

Raju (not real name), a tenant, said, “I along with three other persons live in this house and give Rs 650 for a room.” He said, “However, the conditions of the place are not fit for human beings, but we where can get such accommodation in a posh area, for a reasonable rent.”



BKU to supervise procurement
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
Responding to complaints by farmers regarding difficulties in selling their wheat crop, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has decided to set up committees, comprising activists of the union, to supervise the procurement of wheat by government agencies and to assist farmers in the process.

The BKU secretary-general, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, in a statement here yesterday, lashed out against the government and the PSEB for their veiled attempts to recover electricity bills for tubewells, saying rampant corruption at all levels in the board and not free power supply to farmers was the cause for PSEB’s mounting losses.

Mr Kadian further favoured privatisation of the PSEB as the management of the Board had failed to bring in financial discipline.

The BKU, according to him, was deeply hurt at the discriminatory attitude of the Vidhan Sabha towards Punjabi, the official language of the state, and for carrying out the proceedings of the house in English.

The government had also published electoral rolls for the forthcoming civic elections in English. “If the government persisted with its anti-Punjabi policy, the BKU will be left with no other alternative than to start an agitation,” he cautioned.



Encroachments in old city markets 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The Chaura Bazaar and its off-shoots such as the Books Market, Pindi Street, Saban Bazaar, Sarafan Bazaar and the Gur Mandi continue to be congested due to unauthorised extensions by the shopkeepers and roadside sellers of various goods.

Following a drive by the police against roadside encroachments in Chaura Bazaar about an year ago, roadside vendors of combs, hair bands and readymade garments were literally pushed back to the wall. Life-size mannequins, displaying a variety of suits for men, women and children, which had been displayed on the pavements by the shopkeepers were also ordered to be removed by the police with the result that traffic congestion in one of the busiest markets of the town was reduced to a great extent.

But these mannequins and other stands displaying gifts items, shoes and so on have re-appeared on the road to congest it once again. Though the market is not crowded these days on account of the wheat-harvesting season, otherwise at peak shopping hours in the evening, Chaura Bazaar, with the congestion is a perfect setting for the pick-pockets.

Shopkeepers allow phariwallas to put up their paraphernalia outside their shops in return of a mutual settlement. While in some cases, it is cash on a day-to-day basis, in some cases the phariwallas agrees to pay either the telephone bill or the electricity bill of the shopkeeper. In other words, the shopkeepers are minting money by letting out public property. The congestion in this market is further increasing due to the presence of a large number of electronic goods’ sellers who remain on the move all time displaying their wares and pestering passersby to buy this or that.

Traffic jams in the Books Market have become a regular feature thanks to the car park that has been devised at the end of the market. Extensions by shopkeepers in this market are rare because of the simple reason that books cannot be displayed on the road but still plenty of space is occupied by scooters and cycles parked haphazardly.

In the narrow Pindi Street, which is the hub of medicine trade, one has to squeeze through a maze of men and vehicles which can be easily parked in the nearby parking at the end of the Books Market but most of the shopkeepers prefer not to use the parking for the sake of their personal convenience.



Changes sought in Consumer Protection Bill
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat (ABGP) has intensified its nation-wide campaign for the approval of Consumer Protection Bill (CPB), 2001, in Parliament. ABGP has not only been demanding for the approval of the said bill, but also opposes some proposed changes in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The ABGP lobbied for two years with a backing of two lakh persons to press for amendments in the Act. The proposed changes include a three-month limit for verdicts, District Advisory Consumer Councils, limits on adjournment and increased jurisdiction of all fora.

ABGP representatives are meeting parliamentarians to ensure that amendments as proposed by the standing committee are passed.



BJP condemns attack on jawans
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The BJP has condemned the attack on Army jawans by RPF jawans at the local railway station on Tuesday.

Mr Bhajan Singh Bhamra, senior vice-president of ward No. 24, said the attack was unfortunate. “It is the moral duty of the countrymen to show due respect to the Armymen as they are doing a commendable job for security of the country”, he said. 



Man kills historysheeter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
A city resident killed an alleged historysheeter late last evening at a house in Block-C of Issar Nagar behind Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. The deceased, Ashok Kumar, was killed allegedly by Amardeep Singh in a scuffle between the two. Ashok Kumar had allegedly attacked the accused’s mother to teach her a lesson for giving information about him to the police.

According to an FIR registered against Amardeep Singh under Sections 302, IPC, at Shimla Puri police station, the incident took place in the house of Ms Kajal, a family friend of the accused.

The FIR states that Amardeep Singh, alias Sonu, and his mother Darshana Kaur had come on an informal visit to Kajal’s house when Ashok Kumar, who was allegedly involved in several cases of robbery and murder, came to the house and attacked Darshana Kaur with a sharp-edged sickle and injured her arm.

Ashok Kumar was about to strike a second blow, when the woman’s son came to her defence and snatched the sickle from his hand. This led to a scuffle between the two in which Ashok Kumar was killed. Later, Amardeep Singh fled from the scene. According to the police, the deceased was facing charges in several cases. He was suspecting that the woman, Darshana Kaur, had given some information regarding his activities to the police. He wanted to teach her a lesson and had come for the purpose.



Poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 12
The police has seized 156 bags of ‘Tarameer’ seeds and 14 bags of poppy, valuing around Rs 1.14 lakh, from a truck. The occupants were identified as Amarjit Singh alias Amri, Boota Singh alias Boota of Pulgohna village and Ravinder Singh alias Binda of Gorsian Makhan. The truck has been impounded and a case under Sections 15C, 61, 85, NDPS, has been registered.


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