Sunday, June 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Couple seeks police protection
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 22
Ashwani Kumar Verma, a resident of Raikot and belonging to goldsmith caste and Rupinder Kaur of Fatehgarh, a Sikh took the bold step of having an inter-caste marriage after they fell in love. They got married according to Sikh religious rites at Gurdwara Mastuana Sahib, Jagraon on May 8 against the wishes of their parents.

However, the bridegroom’s parents ultimately agreed to bring the couple to their home and accepted their new daughter-in-law and the couple started living at Raikot.

After a few days of the marriage the grandmother of Rupinder Kaur visited her at Raikot and on finding her grand-daughter happy, she blessed the newly weds and after a few days the mother of the bride also visited her daughter and was very happy to see her. But the trouble started for the newly wedded couple when some relatives of Rupinder Kaur started threatening them. Iqbal Singh Sekhon, a close relative of Rupinder’s mother alongwith some other relatives and friends came to Jagraon and threatened to eliminate the couple. He also insulted parents and a relative of Ashwani Kumar.

The parents of Ashwani Kumar have moved an application for police protection to SSP, Jagraon, as the girl has no faith in her relations who can do anything, anywhere and at anytime as they continue to threaten them on telephone.



Cop held on bribery charge
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 22
The Jagraon police has arrested Head Constable Baljit Singh (No 353/Jgn) who was posted as Munshi of police station Sudhar, on the charge of accepting bribe of Rs 10,000.

According to a press note released here by Mr M.S. Cheena, SSP, Naranjan Singh of Tusse village had a land dispute with Amarjit Singh.

Amarjit Singh had taken the land belonging to Naranjan Singh last year on rent and Naranjan Singh did not intend to rent out the same for the current year to Amarjit Singh but he was not ready to hand over the land to the owner on which Naranjan Singh, alongwith his son Kamaljit Singh and daughter-in-law Jasmir Kaur came to police station Sudhar and apprised Baljit Singh of their problem and settled a deal for Rs 10,000 for getting the tenant evicted.

The case was investigated by Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Raikot, who found him guilty of corruption and booked him under Sections 7-13(c) R W Section 13 (2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act at police station Sudhar.



Red tape costs him dear
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
Robin Girdhar, a plus two pass out from DAV Public School, has won a gold medal in the Indian National Biological Olympiad test held this year qualifying him to participate in a camp to be held at Latvia in Europe. But despite the best efforts, he would not be able to attend it, not due to any financial constraints but due to the red tape that dominates our bureaucracy.

Robin had to deposit his passport at Mumbai by June 12, but he failed to procure it within the time limit. Unwittingly, he had applied through a local agent in March this year rather than applying directly to avoid long queues, but was unfortunately duped by the agent. Even till the last date, while Robin was away to Mumbai attending the Olympiad camp, his father had been struggling to get verification certificate from the city administration. The officers here said that since Robin was not personally known to them, they could not sign the certificate.

After much persuasion, when Mr O.P. Girdhar, Robin’s father, showed them clippings of newspapers which carried his photographs alongwith his achievement of attaining 17th rank in national level pre-medical test conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Mr A.K. Sinha, Additional Deputy Commissioner, signed the certificate. But that was too late and the officers at Mumbai denied to accept his passport.

Along with the medal, Robin has received a cash award of Rs 1500, two books of science and a certificate. In November last year, he had taken written examination conducted by the Olympiad at Chandigarh, after qualifying which he again appeared for another theory test in January and was chosen among the top 1 per cent students from Punjab.

Following this, Robin was invited to appear for practical examination conducted at Pune, where he was chosen among the top 25 students in biology stream. He was then called at Mumbai to attend a camp from June 5 to 13 where he qualified among the top four students who would be taken to Latvia in Europe for another camp scheduled in July. Unfortunately, he would be missing it.



Without power for four days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Hundreds of people living in the Karol Bagh area and Friends Colony near Dad village on the outskirts of the city have been living without electricity for the past four days.

Continuous complaints and representations made to the authorities seem to have fallen on the deaf ears.

According to Dr S.S. Sirohi, a retired scientist from Punjab Agricultural University, power supply has been lying disrupted in the area for the past four days. He disclosed people of the area had met PSEB officials several times but the problem persisted.

He said while on the one hand the government was claiming to provide regular power supply to the rural areas, they were being denied the facility for the past four days.

He urged the PSEB authorities to take note of the situation and restore electricity to the area immediately lest the people should stage a demonstration.



Doubts raised over toll collection
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 22
Even as the preparations for toll tax collection at three places from Panipat to Jalandhar have been completed and its implementation comes into force from tonight, serious doubts have been raised over the manner in which the entire operation has been launched.

The company that has got the bid to set up toll collection operations is alleged to be in a hurry to make money as it is reportedly without adequate infrastructure and has put up exorbitant rates without providing any facilities to the public as agreed upon in the bid document.

Mr R.K. Gupta, Deputy General Manager of the National Highways Authority of India, in a telephonic discussion said that the notified date for the toll tax collection by the government was May 22 and added that they were already 31 days behind the scheduled time.

It is significant to mention here that according to the bidding document issued by the National Highways Authority of India, the last date for the invitation of bids for the construction of toll plazas, including road works and building works at various locations along the Golden Quadrilateral and NS and EW Corridors, was 27-5-2002 (according to ITB Clause 22.1).

It has clearly been mentioned in the national competitive bidding that the construction of toll plaza including road works and building works at Km 132, Km 213 and Km 296 of Panipat-Jalandhar section of NH-1 shall involve 10 months of completion time within estimated cost of Rs 23.00 crore and a bid security of Rs 46 lakhs.

It has also been included in the bidding document that the successful bidder will be expected to complete the works within nine months from the date of issue by registered airmail of the notice to commence the work.

Asked why toll-collection is being started much before time, Mr Gupta, said that it is a decision of the government and “we have to go according to their decisions.” He said it is a standby arrangement but we would be providing as much facilities as possible to the public.

He also said that although the arrangement is temporary, the toll collection is permanent.“ “We have set up temporary cabins and not yet streamlined the entire work but we shall do it with the passage of time while setting up permanent toll plazas at these places.

Mr Gupta further said that the main purpose of tollcollection is to improve the quality of roads and check unauthorised cuts. He said,” There would be regular patrolling of the GT road to provide help to accident victims and we shall also have ambulances to provide first-aid and mechanics to help meet the various defects in vehicles at the time of journey.”

But the facilities to be provided are very few compared to those mentioned in the bidding document. The ITB clause (1.1) of section III (bidding data) clearly mentions the summary of the works to be undertaken at the time of the construction of toll plazas for the purpose of tollcollection. It goes like this.

“The works to be undertaken under this contract will comprise packages for the construction of toll plazas, toll service lanes, toll building, canopy and toll booths which have the following major items of work: Earthwork, Base course sub-base, Reinforced concrete, Construction of toll plaza administrative building, road signs and markings, toll booths and canopy, granular shoulder material, side drains, lighting, crash barriers and other miscellaneous items.

The administrative buildings for toll plaza shall have external paving, road, staircases, staircase railing, exterior, roofing, windows, door frames , internal flooring rooms, toilets, kitchen, taps, chinaware, floor trap, paint elect BDs and switches (MCBs), electrical switches on tanks, lighting arrester and electrical, telephone wiring.

As opposed to all this, temporary wooden cabins have been placed and no control room is there at present.

It seems that the government is in a hurry to extract money from the pocket of the public leaving aside the fact whether they are getting the facilities conditioned by the NHAI in the bidding document or not.

According to the terms and conditions of the bidding document issued by the NHAI, the scheme cannot be launched at this time.

It should take another nine or 10 months for its legal implementation.

Meanwhile, various organisations and associations of the area have already declared an open war on the issue of tolltax collection by the authorities . According to Mr Arun Bector, convener and Mr Pritam Singh Jaggi, co-convener of the move, “We have already sent our members to try or stay from high court. Others have gone to meet Mr Tejparkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab.”

They added that their people shall sit near the toll plaza today at 6 p.m. and never allow the scheme to be implemented . They are being supported by the nagar panchayat, Arhtiya Association, Kariyana Association, Maniari Association , Electronics Association, Tempo Union, truck union, taxi union and sarpanches, panches and residents of the town and surrounding villages.



Defeated Congress candidates form panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
Levelling allegations of wrong distribution of party tickets, which led to the defeat of a large number of Congress candidates in the recently held municipal elections, the defeated party nominees have formed the Ludhiana Congress Sangharsh Committee.

A delegation of the committee will soon meet senior leaders including Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to focus on the main reasons for the dismal performance in the civic elections.

According to Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the committee, an exhaustive report on “wrong” distribution of party tickets and other “irregularities” committed by local party leaders had been prepared and the same would be presented to Ms Mohsina Kidwai, general secretary of the AICC and in charge of Punjab affairs and Ms Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, besides the Punjab Chief Minister.

Veteran Congress functionary Jarnail Singh Sharma will be the patron of the committee, which will have other office-bearers including Mr Walaiti Ram Kundra, chairman, Mr Harvinder Happy, president, Mr Ravinder Syan, cashier, Mr Pritam Singh Banga chief advisor, Mr Banwari Lal, Rajasthani, senior vice-president, Mr Bharat Bhushan Thapar and Mr Vinod Gogi vice- president, Mr Sham Sunder Sarpal, press secretary, and Ms Saroj Rani, secretary.

While functionaries of the committee declined to give more details of the report, prepared by them, sources revealed that the report contained elaborate details and corroborating evidence on allegations of allotment of party tickets by senior leaders on considerations other than merit and anti-party activities of certain prominent local functionaries, which led to the defeat of most party candidates in one particular assembly segment.

It may be recalled that out of the four major towns where civic elections were held, the performance of the Congress party was worst in Ludhiana where the party could barely achieve simple majority with only 37 of the 70 candidates in the fray making it to the MC house.



Sigh of relief for Congress
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
It’s “all is well that ends well” for the Congress. For its Mayoral candidate, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, victory came as a relief particularly in the backdrop of internal dissension and strong opposition to his candidature for the post of Mayor. Notwithstanding his last minute volte-face, the MLA from Ludhiana Rural, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, had “vowed” to ensure that Mr Gill did not become the Mayor.

Party sources revealed that it was not as simple for the party as it appeared to be. Tension was more prominent on the face of Mr Gill since he apprehended cross voting. The tension was heightened after the Punjab and Haryana High Court decreed that the election to the post of Mayor should be held through secret ballot, which left greater scope for cross voting and more apprehensions for Mr Gill and the party.

The opposition had also fielded a strong contender, Mr K. L. Chhabra, who enjoyed good influence among some Congress councillors. Things could not have worked so well for the Congress had the party leadership not made it clear to some dissident leaders that they would be dealt with strongly if the party did not emerge victorious.

The District Congress Committee had recommended to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to take strong action against some party leaders, including a legislator, for their alleged anti-party activities during the corporation elections. Although the Chief Minister had played it down at that time, he had issued strong warnings to the dissident leaders against continuing with their activities.

It was for the same reason that the leaders who claimed themselves to be sworn enemies of Mr Gill till yesterday stood by him to proclaim their loyalty towards the party the day after.

For the time being it appears that the party has managed to check its dissidence but it will be wrong to presume that the dissidents have been roped in. “They may be down, but they are not out as yet”, a party leader said, while observing that they may be lying low with an eye on a possible ministry expansion in the near future. Moreover, he pointed out, the abstention of Mr Rakesh Pandey, the MLA from Ludhiana North and the Minister for Printing and Stationery, is also indicative of the fact that the dissidence still prevails in the Congress, despite yesterday’s victory.



Oh! for a whiff of fresh air
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 22
A whiff of polluted air and facing a cloud of dense smoke and flying black particles is nothing new for the evening walkers and other visitors to Nehru Rose Garden in the posh residential area of the city or for that matter in many of the parks in other city localities as they come across this regularly.

Thanks to the innovative way evolved by the maintenance staff of horticulture wing of the civic body to deal with accumulated dead wood, dry leaves and other waste material in these parks. Rather than taking the ‘trouble’ of removing the garbage to a site from where it could be shifted to the garbage dump, the staff of the horticulture wing simply burns the heaps of wood, leaves and other discarded material in several corners of the parks, much to the annoyance of the visitors, including children, who frequent these parks.

Many of the regular visitors to the Rose Garden were sore at the undesirable practice of burning the waste material in such a manner which makes people who come there to enjoy the greenery and fresh air to suffer the agony of pollution.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, told Ludhiana Tribune that he had already issue instructions to immediately stop the practice of burning dead wood and other material in the parks. He further said following an inspection of Rakh Bagh and Rose Garden today itself, he had found that the upkeep and maintenance was much below the desirable level and the Executive Engineer (Horticulture) Mr H.S. Bilga had been issued a show cause notice.

The Commissioner further said all employees and officials in the horticulture wing had been explicitly asked to perform their duty diligently, failing which they would be liable to punitive action.



Pothoharis: from adversity to prosperity

When Shakespeare wrote, “Sweet are the uses of adversity,’ he had no idea of Pothoharis. No one could imagine they would survive the massacre of March 1947 followed by the tragedy of Partition. They were baptised by the proverbial fire. They survived against maximum odds. They lost their ancestral homes, and rebuilt them with remarkable speed. They were soon one-up in all fields and spread out wherever possible.

The mystery of their in-built psyche is rooted in Pothohar- geographical, historical, cultural elements rolled into one. Indeed, healthy root, nourish fruit. Such fruits have imperishable seeds. Pothoharis are root-conscious, they uphold a pride of legacy. They live in the present. They are inspired by heroes. Also contemporaries — leaders and pioneers, poets and artistes, makers and builders. The list is long and endless: I.K.Gujral, Dr Manmohan Singh, K.S. Duggal are some of the outstanding sons of Pothohar-soil. Balraj Sahni, M.S. Oberoi, Malik Hardit Singh, Prof Puran Singh, Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Prof Mohan Singh. Ludhiana’s town-landscape graduated into city-landscape thanks to the hard work of these erstwhile refugees. The input by the Pothoharis into making of this metro merits appreciation. They did not stop at shelter. They soon enough proved their taste for good food and dress. They remodeled modest dwellings of the migrants. They swam against the current to accept challenges. Built and expanded business. Took to professions more devotedly.

Their contribution to education is most praiseworthy. Rehabilitated institutions — Pothohar Sayyad Khalsa School, Gujjar Khan Khalsa Schools, besides others. The role of Headmasters Inder Singh and Sahib Singh is exemplary. S.B.S. Bishan Singh Anand and S. Sant Singh (both of Gujjarkhan) gave the city its Gujjarkhan Education Campus which houses seven institutions of quality education. G.N. International Public School is a landmark.

Eminent Pothoharis settled here which raised the academic, cultural and social image of the city. They include Bhai Jodh Singh who founded Punjabi Sahit Akademi and persuaded Dr Radhakrishnan to lay the foundation stone of Punjabi Bhavan. Principals Ujagar Singh and J.S. Bindra are educational pioneers. Prof. Mohan Singh joined PAU as Prof. Emeritus. He breathed his last here in 1978. Satyapal Anand learnt elements of literature at Lahore Bookshop. Raja Singh (Texla TV) expanded business. Established Guru Ram Academy with modern campus. Sant Singh Gujjar Khani and Amrik Singh built Society cinema hall. Balwant Singh Chhatwal, Jagdish Singh Bindra and others entered industry successfully.

A former Chief Justice, Mr Harbans Singh, Mr I.S. Bindra, Principal K.S. Thapar left deep imprint on the city as residents. Ms Bably Singh, Raman Gujral are fine artists. Kulwant Singh Dukhia has served on the municipal body for four decades. Jathedar Wazir Singh Campbellpuri earned distinction as city father. N.S. Nanda has organised Pothohar Brotherhood. Advocate B.S. Bindra earned name as well as fame. A road was named after Wazir Singh Bindra, a gentleman resident. Noted scholar and journalist, Mubarik Singh, headed the Improvement Trust. Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital is expanding, courtesy self-less service exemplified by Bakhshi Mohinder Singh, trust chairman.

Dr H.R. Sarna headed Government College. He was the first to have a doctorate in a science subject. Alumni Tribhawan Issar, IAS, created niche in Karnataka while Jivtesh Singh Maini, is adding glory to his city.

M.S. Cheema



Move to hike power tariff opposed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) has strongly opposed the proposal to effect an increase in power tariff ranging from 25 to 47 per cent for all categories of consumers by the PSEB, suggesting instead that the state government should compensate the PSEB for heavy losses suffered by it due to free power provided to the agricultural sector worth Rs 1000 crore.

Pleading the case of members of trade and other consumers before a four member team of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission headed by Mr R.S. Mann here, the mandal general secretary, Mr Sunil Mehra, asked the Punjab Government to take effective measures for improving financial management in the PSEB, checking rampant corruption and pruning the work force to cut down the mounting losses. “The government should appoint a one-man commission headed by a sitting or retired Judge of the high court to look into the massive theft of power, leakage and transmission losses.”

It was gross injustice that members of trade, industry and domestic consumers should be made to pay for the losses incurred by the PSEB on account of providing free power to the farm sector. The beopar mandal functionaries also ridiculed the decision of the PSEB management to make available power at subsidised rates to its employees despite suffering huge losses for the past many years.

It was pointed out that the necessary equipment and stores were invariably in short supply with the PSEB and even minor faults in power supply were not rectified for days together. The mandal urged the government and the PSEB management to provide a sum of Rs 100 crore for strengthening the infrastructure and the transmission system in Ludhiana circle.



Panel flays PSEB decision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Members of the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association have flayed the decision of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to obtain no objection certificates from the Punjab Pollution Control Board. The notices have been issued under sales regulation clause 40 of the PSEB.

Mr Joginder Kumar and Man Mohan Singh Ubhi, president and secretary of the association, pointed out that 70 to 80 per cent of the industry had come up in the residential areas (eastern side of Dhuri Line). Most of the units were covered under the green category-declared list consisting 94 industries.

They said the Punjab Government had failed to give land to the association for the relocation of polluting industry from the residential areas in Phase VIII as 110 acres earmarked reserved for polluted industry, which was earlier encroached upon or under litigation, was handed over to the PSIEC and denotified. The association had demanded 30 acres of land for its members out of 110 acres.

The pollution control board gave demonstration of house keeping in 1989 to the members of the association and 80 to 90 per cent pollution had been controlled or minimised.

As per the Supreme Court’s directive, infrastructure is to be provided to such units for relocation on a priority basis but no concrete steps have been taken by the state government They also urged the Chairman, PSEB, to direct its officers to keep the orders in abeyance and desist them from resorting to disconnecting the power supply since this would not only create massive unemployment but a law and order problem also.



12 traffic offenders booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
The campaign by the city police against road blockers gained momentum yesterday with the registration of 12 cases under Sections 283 of the IPC against persons for parking their vehicles on the road and causing road blockage.

The division number three police station registered three separate cases against Satpal, a resident of Dheera Nagar on Kakowal Road, Ram Nath, a resident of Rehmatulla Road, and Sukhwinder Singh alias Dimpa for parking their vehicles on the road and jamming the traffic.

The division number four police station also registered three case against Ramesh Kumar, a worker in a dyeing unit in Focal Point, for parking his auto-rickshaw, Theku Parshad, a worker in a dyeing unit in Sardar Nagar, and Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Sardar Nagar, for parking their rickshaw on the road.

The Model Town police arrested five persons and booked them separately for jamming the traffic in the area.

The accused are Ajmer Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension, Om Bahadur Thapa, a resident of Dr Ambedkar Nagar, Pawan Kumar, a resident of Dugri, all released on bail, Subhash Sharma, a resident of Field Ganj and Pappu Thapar, a resident of Pakhowal Road.

The Jodhewal police also arrested and booked Kaka Singh, a resident of Sadhu Patti village in Mansa district, for parking his truck in New Madho Puri market and blocking the traffic.

Dowry case: The division number eight police yesterday registered a case of alleged harassment for dowry under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Anukirti Aggarwal, a resident of Civil Lines, against Vishal Aggarwal; Surinder; Rajni, wife of Surinder, both residents of Amritsar; Reema Goel; and Radhe Sham Gupta, both residents of Vishwamitter Street in Civil Lines; and Vinay Goel, who resides near Mall Road, Ludhiana. The complainant had alleged that the accused, members of her in-laws family, used to harass her mentally and physically by demanding more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Frauds alleged: The division number three police yesterday registered a case of alleged fraud under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Malinder Singh Sachdeva, a resident of CMC chowk, against Noni Kumar, a resident of New Madho Puri, and Sanjiv Kumar. The complainant alleged that the accused had bought a colour TV from him on installment but did not pay it.

The Jagraon police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harvinder Singh, a resident of Rajoana village, and Mr Karam Chand, a resident of Gabra village, against Jagjit Singh, a resident of a village in Moga district, and Surinder Singh, a resident of Sardar Nagar, Moga. The complainants had stated that they had given Rs 6.5 lakh around two years back to the accused for sending them abroad. Neither did the accused send them abroad nor return their money.

Domestic violence: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Paramjit Kaur, wife of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Meharban village, against her husband. The woman had alleged that her husband beat her up on June 18 and threatened her.

Cases of theft: The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457, 380 and 511 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Hari Kumar, a resident of New Chander Nagar, against Rakesh Kumar, a neighbour. The complainant had alleged that the accused had entered his room with the intention of committing a theft but was caught by him and handed over to the police.

The Focal Point police registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jaswant Singh Komal, Senior General Manager, Gobind Rubber Limited, Jugiana, against unknown person(s). The complainant had stated that someone had broken the lock of the factory store and taken away 37 bags of tubes valued at Rs 2 lakh prior to March 4.

Poppy husk seized:
The CIA staff of the local police, while on a patrol near Bridge Canal Akhara, arrested Sukhminder Singh alias Minder of Kaunke Kalan village and seized 13 kg of poppy husk from him. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.



Gang of thieves busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 22
The local police has busted a gang of three thieves and recovered gold ornaments and a scooter from their possession.

According to information received, three persons, Vijay Kumar, Mukesh Kumar and Bunty Kumar, who belong to Sikkar district in Rajasthan, were arrested and gold and gold rings, karas and other ornaments were recovered from them.

According to the police, the value of the recovered gold ornaments is about Rs 1 lakh. The police has registered a case under Section 379 and 380 IPC. The arrested persons were produced in the court of Mrs Harinder Sidhu, Duty Magistrate, Kharar, who remanded them in police custody till June 25. 



Porno print seized 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
A team of police officials from the Kotwali police station, led by SHO Paramjit Singh, raided a cinema house (Naulakha) and seized the print of a film being screened that allegedly contained added pornographic material here last evening.

The raid was conducted after a tip-off that a film with pornographic contents was being exhibited at the cinema house. The police later registered case under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (P) Act 1986, Section 297 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Cinematography Act. The accused in the case are: Jasvir Singh Nalua, proprietor of the cinema house, Satwant Singh, manager, and Chander Bhan, cinema operator, who belongs to Phillaur. However, only Chander Bhan was arrested and later released on bail.



Khanna police to quiz ultra
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 22
The Khanna police will interrogate the Laskhar-e-Toiba terrorist who was arrested in Ludhiana recently.

SSP Khanna Devinder Singh Garcha said that the DIG Ludhiana had handed over the investigation of the terrorist Abdul to the Khanna police. He said that Abdul is responsible for several cases.



Small units flay hike in petrol prices
Protests against Budget continue
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, June 22
Several industries under the banner of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India have flayed the proposed cess of Re 1 per litre on petrol and user service charges on the specific items which has not been mentioned in the Punjab Budget.

Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the federation has alleged that the people in Punjab, particularly the Tiny and Small Scale Industries (SSI) sector, had great expectations for the revival of sluggish economy from the new government but the government had belied all these. He hoped that concrete steps would be taken to put the industry, which is reeling under heavy recessionary trend, back on rails.

Other signatories to the protest statement include M/S Joginder Kumar, O.P. Jindal, Vinod Dhali, Rajan Gupta, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chabber Singh, Manmohan Singh Ubhi, Jaswant Singh Birdi, T.R. Mishra, president Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, president and general secretary of Focal Point Association Phase IV-A, vice-president and secretary of the Ludhiana Electroplators Association, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturing Association, chairman, Federation of Dyeing Association, respectively.

The statement says that austerity measures initiated by the new government were steps in the right direction. The government should cut down its wasteful expenditure and also loss-making public sector undertakings. But added that, we fail to understand as to how the post of Mr Sanjiv Bawa of PSIEC has been justified, whereas PSIEC has been recommended for disinvestment.

The economy of the state is already at the lowest ebb and the industry is on the verge of closure, which is not a healthy sign for the state, the statement said.

“The bonds in lieu of capital subsidy which is awaiting disbursement since June, 1996, would not mitigate our sufferings. Government must take provisions for 300 crores out of 600 crores saved. We can feel easily hidden taxes in the Budget proposals”, the statement says.

Meanwhile, the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has rejected the Punjab Budget, terming it ‘anti-people’ and ‘anti-employees’. The State Secretary of the party, Mr Kuldip Singh, said in a statement here today that the harsh Budget proposals would hit all sections of lower and middle classes.

The MCPI activists alleged that the government was out to recklessly implement the agenda of privatisation and liberalisation under the garb of austerity measures, which in turn would result in unemployment of lakhs of workers in the state and handing over of precious public sector undertakings (PSUs) to the private entrepreneurs at throwaway prices. Mr Kuldip Singh gave a call to the CPI and CPI (M) as well as other like-minded parties to oppose the Budget proposals in a determined manner.

The Joint Action Committee of Punjab Roadways organised a protest rally at General Bus Stand and the workers observed a ‘chakka jam’ strike for one hour. Speakers at the rally charged the government with backing out from its poll promises and stabbing the working class in the back. The trade union activists warned the government of a massive agitation if the anti-employee proposals in the Budget were not withdrawn forthwith.

The government employees, led by district unit of the State Ministerial Services Union resented the freezing of DA and denial of other allowances in a protest rally at Mini Secretariat here.



LSE meeting approves panel recommendations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
The extraordinary general body meeting of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange yesterday approved the Mayya Committee recommendations of having model rules, regulations, bylaws and memorandum of article for stock exchange and decided to send the same to SEBI for approval. The amended rules and articles of memorandum would be implemented after the approval from SEBI was received.

The general body met Mr Jaspal Singh, president of the stock exchange. The president informed the members about the receipt of letter and report from SEBI. Mr Jaspal Singh informed that SEBI had constituted the Mayya Committee to formulate rules, regulations, bylaws and articles of memorandum for the stock exchanges in the country to have uniformity. SEBI had advised the stock exchanges in the country to implement the Mayya Committee report after making modifications in their constitutions.

Mr Jaspal Singh further informed that some of the model rules had already been implemented by the stock exchange through SEBI circulars and directives and some rules were not applicable. The incorporation of model rules and bylaws would require addition, deletion or amendments in most of clauses of the memorandum of articles of association the exchange.

The Mayya Committee has suggested the appointment of a managing director instead of the executive director and selection of chairman instead of president. The committee has also recommended the formation of a disciplinary committee and an ethics committee to deal with the defaulting members and ensuring transparency.



‘Need to bring down production cost’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
“The entrepreneur is not fully geared to meet the challenges posed by the WTO and we will have to bring down our production cost if we have to compete against countries like China, which have a higher productivity rate,” says Dr P.K. Gupta, Director, National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC).

He was in the city to conduct separate workshops on Environmental Management Tools and Awareness in Cleaner Production in pulp and paper industry held under the aegis of the District Industries Centre, Ludhiana. Mr T.R. Sarangal, Secretary, Industries and Commerce, presided over the function.

Dr Gupta stressed that the cost of goods manufactured in developing countries was higher and hence the local businessmen were at a disadvantage as compared with his counterparts in developed countries in the global market.

But small steps can take us a long way in reducing our productivity costs, he added.

He also advised the paper and pulp industry owners to use good equipment to cut down costs. Certain parts and machinery should never be reused since it not only adds to inefficiency but also leads to low performance.

The old mindset should be discarded if we have to beat out competitors around the world, he pointed out.

He later answered queries of the entrepreneurs present on the occasion.


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