Tuesday, June 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Taxing time on NH-1
Collection ‘biased’; charges shock
Amarjit Thind and Lovleen Bains
Tribune Reporters

Doraha, June 24
The collection of toll tax on National Highway 1 that began here at midnight yesterday continued unabated, in spite of threats by industrial organisations and protests by local persons. More than Rs 7 lakh was collected in the first 24 hours.

For commuters, especially long-distance travellers, the “exorbitant” charges came as a rude shock. They were forced to pay up to continue their journey and many argued over it with the contractor’s securitymen at toll booths. Things could have turned nasty, especially where truck drivers were involved, but a strong police presence prevented any untoward incident.

Mr Harmeet Singh, a person travelling from Patiala to Jalandhar with his family, like many other commuters, called it “highway robbery”. “How can the government collect toll tax without, first, providing commuters with facilities. The charges are exorbitant,” he said.

A person of Malerkotla, Mr Arvind Khanna, turned back from a toll booth to find an alternative route from here to Mandi Gobindgarh. “I often travel on this stretch, but now, I’ll have to either change my way or buy a monthly pass,” he said.

There is no toll tax on bringing out two-wheelers, three-wheelers, tractors carrying farm produce, defence trucks and some other vehicles of specified class on this road. This is according to directions of the National Highways Authority of India.

At a meeting here, local persons and toll-tax officials, reportedly, reached an agreement in this regard. The persons who attended the meeting included several prominent persons of the area like Mr Gurmit Singh, Mr Arun Bector, Mr Pritam Singh Jaggi, Mr Tarlochan Singh Sethi and Mr Sudarshan Kumar Sharma (president of the Doraha Nagar Council), besides others. The officials verbally conceded to the demands of local persons, but, said the final decision would be of the government.

Regarding concessions to persons of Payal, Doraha and Sahnewal, Mr R.K. Gupta, Deputy General Manager of the NHAI, said Rs 150 would be charged for a monthly pass from each car owner on the highway. Driver of each loaded truck of a local person would have to pay Rs 25 to cross the tax barrier.

This has evoked criticism from even social organisations and trade unions of Ludhiana and Khanna, who have demanded a similar concession. Mr Kirpal Singh Sandhu, president of the Tempo Union, said: “The authorities concerned should not be biased and accord same exemptions to everyone; otherwise, we will move court and protest,” he said.

Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal of Guru Nanak National College of Doraha, said that a person travelling from Jalandhar to Ludhiana would, now, have to pay no road tax, but a person travelling from Jalandhar to Doraha would be doubly taxed. Persons travelling from Jalandhar to Ludhiana and Sahnewal are not paying any road-tax.” he said.

He also refused to pay the toll tax today, giving reason for which, he said: “I have already paid tax for being on this road in the form of the prescribed road tax. I am a regular tax-payer and authorities cannot tax me twice for using the same road. I shall pay an extra tax when a new road or superhighway will have to be built.”

Mr Jagjiwanpal Singh Gill, a resort owner, said his marriage palace was next to the toll booths, due to which, his business had been hit. “Every person pays Rs 90 more than ever, now, for attending a function at my palace. The local MLA has ignored the interest of the people and not even reacted to the tax,” he said.

When contacted, Mr R.K. Gupta, Deputy General Manager of the NHAI, said: “We shall cover all leakage points soon. Five vehicles will ply on the route for this purpose and to fix the breakdowns. A government team will shortly arrive here to inspect toll-tax collection and suggest ways to plug loopholes.”

“A traveller on the NH-1 will have to pay road-maintenance tax. Railings and junctions will be erected to demarcate a lane for local persons, so that the highway traffic is not affected. We will also try to have a flyover or a subway at some point to ease traffic on the highway,” he said.

He said no person, other than the ones specified by the government, had been exempted from paying the tax. Defaulters would have to pay penalties.



Digging of roads creates traffic chaos
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Frequent digging along various roads has created traffic chaos in Ludhiana
Frequent digging along various roads has created traffic chaos in Ludhiana. This is the situation near the Domorian bridge. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 24
Roads in the city have been dug up for laying optical fibre cable (OFC) for a private telecom company, creating traffic chaos and turning the entire city into a accident-prone zone. No cautionary signboard has been put anywhere on various roads by the company which is reportedly being patronised by the state and Central Government leadership.

Traffic chaos is so intense in some areas of the old city that traffic has to be diverted to avoid jams. Today morning the traffic flow remained quite slow near Domoria Pul as despite barricades by the traffic police, a large number of four-wheelers continued to commute on the road.

Moreover, two to three feet high huge piles of dug-out soil and other material and three to five feet deep trenches for laying OFC, are posing great danger to the lives of commuters. Even after or before the peak hours, the vehicles on a large number of city roads, move slowly since the width of roads have decreased due the cable-laying work of the private telecom company. After dusk, it becomes difficult for the commuters to gauge the actual width of road. Vehicles often get stuck in trenches and commuters receive injuries due to this problem.

Interestingly, the company assigned with this job is not taking any precautionary measure. Whether a government agency or a private contractor carry out any such work on roads, red flags are normally put to give clear indication to commuters for their safety. Moreover, caution boards like “Men At Work”, “Work in Progress”, “Diversion” and “Drive Carefully” are also required to be put for the safety of the men at work as well as commuters.

A contractor, on the condition of anonymity, said, “These big companies, which get the contract of laying the OFC, do not have the required man power. So they have hired the services of small contractors like me.” He added, “Presently for laying the OFC for a telecom company, the firm which has got the contract, has hired the services of small contractor like me. In the absence of adequate finance and equipment, we have to work with limited resources. Neither we have sign boards nor we have any flags for indication that work is in progress.”

The contractor further disclosed, “I have been assigned the job of digging. My work would be finished after I lay OFC and fill these trenches.” He said, “For relaying the road again some other contractor would be hired and perhaps he may put cautionary board and red flags. But I have no such instructions from the company, which has got the contract from the telecom company to do the job.”

The inconvenience of the commoners in the city does not end here as after the refilling the trenches, these private companies do not relay the roads properly. Often after a heavy rain shower, a little quantity of bitumen and gravel erode. After that any one can witness big pot holes on the roads. These private companies often do not do the patch work as per the standards fixed by the Municipal Corporation.

According to information, a couple of months back, the MC had refused give permission to a private telecom company for road cutting. The sources said, that after several inspections carried out by the MC engineers and other officials of the civic body, it was found that restoration work done by a private telecom company after laying OFC, was shoddy and sub standard. The sources said that at many places, the dug up roads were repaired in a crude patch work manner.



Viewers take ‘snap’ decision
Cable guys to hike agony further
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June 24
Viewers here are unhappy over an unabated hike in monthly cable-TV subscription fee. They resent the monopolistic attitude of cable TV operators and demand that the fee be fixed.

Mr Bhushan Dhawan, a subscriber who lives in Urban Estate Dugri here, said, a few months ago, the area cable operator had been charging Rs 100 per month for each connection, but recently, the charges had been increased. “Some subscribers protested and surrendered connections. Last month, subscribers got together to stage a sit-in in protest against exorbitant cable-TV charges, but to no avail,” he said.

Ms Madhu Sharma, another subscriber who lives in the area, said workers of the operators were rude to subscribers. She said: “When we refuse to pay more, they misbehave with us and threaten to withdraw our connections.” Mr Om Prakash, another subscriber, said he had two connections at home, but if the hike continued unabated, he would be forced to surrender these.

At a recent meeting, operators resolved to double the subscription charges. The monthly charges, now, are between Rs 100 and Rs 200 and, if operators had their way, these would be between Rs 350 and Rs 360. Representatives of the Zee TV, Win Cable Operators, the ESPN, Star Sports, Star Plus and Punjab TV Cable Operators were at the meeting.

A senior official of Win Cable, when contacted, said on condition of anonymity that monthly subscription charges would be increased further next month. “We do not want to harass our subscribers, but we are helpless. If pay channels increase subscription charges, we, too, will have to follow suit. At present, each connection costs us between Rs 150 and Rs 160, but, next month onwards, each connection will cost us between Rs 180 and Rs 190 and subscribers will have to pay between Rs 250 and Rs 300 per month per connection.” he said.

The official said the new rates would be advertised, so that, subscribers realised how much it cost operators to air various pay channels.



Colleges scrap BBA course
...had no student to teach
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, June 24
With few students opting to join the BBA course, several colleges affiliated to Panjab University have decided to discontinue admission to the course from this year.

Principals of various colleges here said only five or so students had opted to join the course for which there were 40 seats. The course was no longer cost effective for any college, so, there would be no admission to it from this year.

Students say that the course does not give them an edge over students of the other streams. It leaves students with limited job and higher-education opportunities. After the course is over, students can only aspire to join various MBA courses after clearing as many entrance tests, where they find themselves not as good as other aspirants.

The colleges here that have stopped admission to the BBA course include Ramgarhia Girls College, Arya College and the SDP College for Women. While, last year, Ramgarhia Girls College gave admission to six students, they were, later, shifted to the Khalsa College for Women. Ms Harmit Kaur, Principal of the college, is away, but her staff said no query for the course had been received, so far.

In view of such poor response to the course, Arya College and the SDP College for Women have also decided to scrap it. This has left just two colleges — Khalsa College for Women and Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College — offering the course this year.

Ms S. Verma, Principal of the SDP College for Women, said students found no advantage in joining an MBA course after graduating in the same discipline. They received no preference or weightage over other graduates. Commerce graduates, on the other hand, could, take up M.Com or the other courses.

Mr Tarsem Bahia, Principal of AS College at Khanna and a PU Senator, said not only local colleges but also those at Moga and Ferozepore had scrapped the course. He said students, probably, found the course not much different from the B.Com course. It was difficult for the BBA graduates to even join a B.Ed course, as they did not study two school subjects in the course.

Mr Bahia said most colleges had found it easy to scrap the course as most of these had no permanent faculty. “Most teachers of the course were teaching the other courses as well, so, they could easily be adjusted,” he said.



Police drive for registration of tenants; 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The Ludhiana police is learnt to have launched a fresh drive for registration of tenants. The District Magistrate, Ludhiana, has earlier passed an order requiring all house owners to furnish information regarding their tenants to the police.

The drive is reportedly aimed at creating awareness among people and making it clear that violation of magistrate’s order will invite action. Yesterday, the Haibowal police arrested two persons and booked them under Section 188 of the IPC for not obeying the orders of the District Magistrate.

Those arrested were Ram Saneri, a resident of Chander Nagar and Girdhari Lal, a resident of New Kartar Nagar, Haibowal. Both of them were later released on bail.

Last year, the district administration had launched a drive for registration of tenants. There were at least 10 lakh migrants in Ludhiana. In order to keep track of there whereabouts, it was decided that the house owners be asked to furnish detail about their tenants to the police. However, the campaign was later abandoned as the police personnel found themselves getting preoccupied with this job only.

The police is now once again asking people to furnish details about their tenants. This will help in tracing such people in case of any necessity.

Last year, there was a spurt in crime which was attributed to increase in migrant population. This has prompted the administration to ask for registration of tenants once again.



Black badge protest by PCMS doctors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The PCMS Association will hold black badges protest rallies at all district headquarters on June 26 against the negative review of the NPA, hike in user charges in government hospitals and other anti-employee proposals in the proposed Budget.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the association, in a press statement today said that the PCMS was already struggling for the fate of 872 PCMS doctors selected during the tenure of Mr Ravi Sidhu, and would intensify the agitation if corrective steps were not taken by the government.

The president said that a particular section of bureaucracy, which was taking such negative steps against doctors, should first declare their expenses on luxurious offices, ACs, telephones, computers, drivers and servants. Dr Hardeep Singh claimed that government could cut its expenses by not giving luxury lifestyle to bureaucrats.

He said that the NPA of doctors was justified as they were serving in the tough conditions in the remote rural areas.



Cong minister leads rebels’ rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
Factionalism resurfaced in the Congress, with party legislator from Ludhiana North constituency and Minister of State for Printing and Stationery Mr Rakesh Pandey leading a procession of Congress rebels in New Shiv Puri locality falling in Ward No 66 of the city on Sunday.

While Mr Pandey and another Congress legislator from the city were already facing allegations of extending support to rebel candidates in the civic elections, which had led to defeat of a sizeable party nominees, participation of the minister in the procession organised by defeated party rebels had left no one in any doubt that the charges were not without basis.

Mr Sat Pal Puri, Congress councillor from Ward No 66, said the participants in the procession, led by band parties and drum beaters, raised slogans against him as well as the Congress leadership while passing from in front of his house in the presence of Mr Pandey. To further make it clear that the rebels enjoyed his patronage, Mr Pandey later participated in a felicitation function in the locality, where he was honoured with presentation of a shawl and memento.

Mr Puri further said that Mr Palwinder Singh Bhinda, Mr Gurdial Singh Dhadi, Mr Hardial Singh Midha and Mr Satnam Singh Ahuja, who had contested municipal election against him, were also present besides many others in the procession.

The party sources said that Mr Bhinda and Mr Satnam Ahuja, who were aspirants for party nomination from Ward No 66, had contested against the official candidate. They had subsequently been expelled from party for six years. Mr Ahuja, however, had won the election from adjoining Ward No 63 as an independent and had later been fielded by the opposition parties as a candidate for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor which he lost to Mr Prem Mittal of the Congress.

In order to focus on the minister, Mr Pandey’s support to party rebels, Mr Puri, along with his supporters, sat on a dharna in front of the Congress Bhavan here today, demanding disciplinary action against Mr Pandey and his expulsion from state cabinet. The councillor also submitted a memorandum to the District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa. Mr Bawa, when contacted confirmed that he had received a complaint lodged by the councillor against the minister, which he had forwarded to the party high command.

Earlier, Mr Pandey, who along with other party legislators, is an ex-officio member of the General House of the Municipal Corporation with voting right, was the sole exception to have stayed away from the crucial meeting of the House here on June 19, in which the new City Mayor was to be elected, giving rise to many speculations.



BJP ward chief joins Congress
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
An activist of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ward president (Ward 25), Mr Kuldip Sharma, along with several of his supporters today joined the Congress. The others who quit the BJP along with Mr Sharma were Mr Balwinder Billa, Mr Parveen Phutela, Mr Naresh Tangri, Mr Mohinder Pal Rawat, Mr Sat Pal Singh, Mr Baldev Raj Chopra, Mr Narela Singh Hunjan, Mr Ashok Narula, Mr Ashok Kapoor, Mr Joginder Sharma, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Gurmel Singh, Mr Surinder Bawa, Mr Navdeep Kumar, Mr Surinder Sharma, Mr Baljit Ram Sharma, Mr Suraj Parkash and Mr Raj Kapoor.

Welcoming the new entrants to the party at his residence in Rajguru Nagar, the District Congress Committee (Urban) president Mr K.K. Bawa said it was a matter of great pleasure that Mr Sharma and his close supporters had left a communal and parochial organisation to join a nationalist and secular party. He said the BJP pursued the policies of casteism and religious fundamentalism which was dangerous for the larger interests of the country.

Speaking at the function, Mr Sharma observed that he was feeling suffocated in the BJP for quite some time where money power was supreme and ordinary workers had no say. “The relentless war launched by the Congress under the leadership of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh had kindled a new hope among the masses and the distant dream of a clean political system looks like becoming as reality now,” he added.

Besides Mr Bawa, Mr Manjit Singh Malerkotla, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and Mr Pawan Diwan, vice-president, Punjab Youth Congress offered garlands to Mr Sharma and other new entrants to the Congress. Sweets were also distributed at this occasion.



Master Tara Singh remembered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A cultural programme was organised by Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood here yesterday to mark birthday celebrations of Master Tara Singh, a great sikh Pothohari leader .

Speaking on the occasion, Mr N.S. Nanda, president of the brotherhood, threw light on the life and achievements of Master Tara Singh. He observed that Master Tara Singh raised the demand of Punjabi province not because of any vested interest, but only to improve the political condition of the Sikh community. He further said that his contribution, devotion and dedication towards the uplift of the Sikh community would remain unchallenged unsurpassable and deserved all commendations.

Addressing the function, the Ludhiana MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, complimented the efforts of the brotherhood to organise such programmes and keep alive the memories of the land they belonged to.

By another resolution, the brotherhood urged the state government to set up Master Tara Singh Chair in Panjab University to carry out extensive research on the philosophy and contribution of Master Tara Singh, which was earlier announced by the Badal government. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh was requested for accepting the outstanding demand of the brotherhood for installing the life-size statue of Master Tara Singh at Ludhiana. Mr Nanda requested the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to earmark a suitable park, where his statue could be installed. He assured that the Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood will look after the maintenance of the said park.

Mr Nanda also demanded that the union government should install a portrait of Master Tara Singh at the Central Hall of Parliament and release a postal stamp in his memory.

Regarding the next All-India Cultural Conference, Mr Nanda said it would be held in September at Ludhiana, in which prominent personalities from different fields belonging to Dhan-Pothohar would participate. Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, will be the chief guest and Dr Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister of India, will be the guest of honour on that day. Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, MP, will preside over the function.



Dowry murder alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Section 304-B of the IPC in connection with the alleged murder of a newly-wed bride in the area yesterday.

Mr Sampuran Singh, father of the deceased and a resident of Chet Singh Nagar, had complained to the police that her daughter Sarabjit Kaur had been married with Tarsem Singh on December 25 last after which her in-laws had been tormenting her for more dowry. He further stated that after he got a telephone call in the afternoon on Sunday that her daughter had died, he reached her house where he found her body hanging on the roof of the house.

He also stated that he suspected foul play on the part of her in-laws who might have killed her and then hanged her body to give the whole episode the colour of a suicide. The accused against whom the case has been registered are her husband Tarsem Singh, father-in-law Amit Singh, mother-in-law Tej Kaur, and brother-in-law Karam Singh. No arrest has been made so far.

3 migrants held: The Focal Point police yesterday arrested three migrants from UP — Rajinder, Vijay Kumar, and Ranjit, while they were watching a pornographic film. The accused, booked under Section 292 of the IPC and the Indecent Representation of Woman Act, 1986, were later bailed out.

Cases of beating: The Division No 4 police yesterday registered a case under sections 323, 374, 341 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Amit Malhotra, a resident of Model Colony in Salem Tabri, against Rahul Kanojia and three of his unknown cronies. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him near the SDP Senior Secondary School on the night of June 22, beat him up and also stabbed him with a knife. No arrest has been made so far.

The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under sections 341, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Surinder Singh, a resident of Rishi Nagar, against Mohan Lal and his son Raju, who reside in the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him in the locality yesterday shortly before noon and beat him up. The accused were arrested and later bailed out.

On the statement of Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, the Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 297 and 506 of the IPC, against Harbans Singh, a neighbour of the complainant. Mr. Raj Kumar had alleged that a monkey kept by the accused injured his baby and when he protested against the same, the accused beat him up and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division No 7 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 324 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Meeto Devi, a resident of Sanjay Gandhi Colony on the Tajpur road, against Karnail Singh and other members of his family, who reside in the same colony. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat her up and injured her on the evening of June 22. The accused were arrested and bailed out, according to the police.

The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Sections 457, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Mr Dhaneji Gupta, a resident of Aman Nagar , against his brother Santosh Kumar and his wife Sarswati, residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house and beat him up. He was also threatened by the accused, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

‘Kidnapper’ booked: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case of kidnapping on the statement of Mr Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Detwal village, against his son-in-law Gurnam Singh, a resident of Gujjran village in Faridkot district. The complainant had stated that the accused, who had been married to one of his daughters, had kidnapped Mohinder Kaur (21), his sister-in-law, about two months ago.

Booked for hatching criminal plan: On a tip-off from Mr Rajesh Kumar, SI in the CIA Headquarters, that certain suspected elements were hatching a criminal plan in the jungle behind the milk plant, the Sarabha Nagar police yesterday raided the place and arrested Rakesh Khanna alias Nambri, a resident of New Fatehgarh mohalla, Ludhiana, Sanjiv Kumar alias Kukki, a resident of the same mohalla, Dilbagh Singh, a resident of Fateh Ganj, Shashi alias Kalu, a resident of Fatehgarh, and Chhajju alias Narsi, a resident of Shiv Puri.

The accused, who have been booked under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act, were armed and allegedly planning to commit a robbery either in a bank or in a posh house located along the canal, the police said.

Booked for blocking road: The city police booked eight road-blockers yesterday under Section 283 of the IPC in its campaign to widen the city roads. The Division No arrested Ajay Kumar, a resident of Gurdaspur district, and booked him for parking his Tata-407 on a culvert in Shiv Puri and jamming the traffic.

The Division No 3 arrested Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Harcharan Nagar, for parking his rehri on the Chauri Sarak and jamming the traffic and Pawan Kumar, a resident of Harcharan Nagar, for parking his auto-rickshaw at Vaishno Devi chowk last evening and jamming the traffic.

The Sarabha Nagar police arrested five persons and booked them for jamming the traffic in the area. Ranjit Kumar, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, had blocked the way by repairing cycles on the road in front of his kiosk. Manoj Kumar, a resident of dairy Complex, Haibowal, was booked for parking his rehri on the road. Madan lal, a resident of Ranchi Colony, was booked for parking his rehri in a residential area. Mahesh Kumar, another resident of Dairy Complex, Haibowal, who had jammed the traffic at Saggu chowk by parking his rehri there and Ranjit Kumar Pande, a resident of PAU Campus, was booked for parking his rehri near gate number four of the PAU and jamming the traffic.

Two held for disobeying DM: The Haibowal police yesterday arrested two persons and booked them under Section 188 of the IPC for not obeying the orders of the District Magistrate according to which they were supposed to inform the police station of their area about the tenants in their houses.

The accused, who were later bailed out, were Ram Saneri, a resident of Chander Nagar, and Girdhari Lal, a resident of New Kartar Nagar, Haibowal.

One killed , three injured:
A man was killed and three others were injured seriously in an accident yesterday night. The deceased has been identified as Gobind Singh of Daburjee village and the injured are Karamjit Kaur, Manjit Singh and Manjinder Kaur.

All four were travelling on a scooter (PB 10D-1384) when an unidentified vehicle hit them from the back near Daburjee. Gobind Singh was taken to DMC, Ludhiana, where he died and the other three have been admitted in a local hospital.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Sections 279, 338, 427 and 304-A, IPC, at the Payal police station but no arrest has been made so far.

Opium seized:
The Machhiwara police has seized .5 kg opium from Balwinder Singh of Bhatha Dhuha village, he was intercepted at a naka at Garhi Tarkhana village the previous night. The police has also taken in possession his scooter (PB10AN 8475) and a case has been registered under Sections 18/61/85 of the NDPS Act.

The accused was produced in the court of Duty Magistrate, Samrala, who ordered him to be kept in judicial custody till July 5.

Railway police jawan dies: A Railway police jawan Gyan Singh (33), of Jatiwal village died under mysterious circumstances on premises of Phagwara Railway Police Colony where he was deployed on duty. A case has been registered under Section 174, CrPC.

In-laws booked: Amrik Singh (22) of Ramgarh Bet village committed suicide yesterday. The cause of suicide is told to be a clash with his in-laws.

According to the information available, he was married to Paramjit Kaur of Bandhuwal village six months ago. Later on, his relations with his wife deteriorated. As a result, his wife was residing with her parents for the last two months. On the day of incident, he went to his in-laws to bring his wife but he had to return alone.

He could not bear the insult and consumed some poisonous substance. The police has registered a case on the complaint of the father of the deceased, Mohinder Singh, under Section 306, IPC, against his wife Paramjit Kaur, father-in-law Udham Singh, and mother-in-law Banso.

A woman committed suicide by setting herself on fire by pouring kerosene on her body at Mohanpur village, 4 k.m. from here on Sunday.

The woman Baljit Kaur (40), was the wife of Sawarn Singh, a mechanic. A neighbour of the woman informed Ajit Singh, father-in-law of the deceased about the incident, who lives separately in the same village. Ajit Singh said Baljit Kaur was mentally upset as her husband was an addict and he (Ajit Singh) was bearing their daily expenses. At the time of incident Sawarn Singh was in Khanna, he added.



Industry resents ‘budgetary silence’ on growth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
There has been mixed a reaction to the Budget proposals presented by the Punjab Government. While one section feels that the proposals have come along the expected lines given the economy position of the state, employees are critical of the proposals saying that they have been the worst hit. The government proposal to levy additional tax of Re 1 per litre on petrol has also come in for a sharp criticism.

According to Mr V.K. Goyal, chief executive of the Vardhaman Spinning Mills, the Budget did not come as a surprise. He said the economy of the state was so miserable that some serious measures were inevitable. However, he agreed that the government could have avoided imposition of tax on petrol since it would hit the common man.

Mr Goyal said the proposal of disinvestment and covering up the losses of the Punjab State Electricity Board was a welcome step. Referring to the withdrawal of subsidies, he said although in the age of globalisation much subsidies were not expected from the government, but at least a level playing field was required.

Reacting to the Budget proposals, Mr Fateh Singh Libra, a transporter, said the proposals had come on expected lines. Referring to the transport sector, he said the government had announced to double the collection of motor vehicle tax in the next four years. He said although the government had announced to grant permits liberally to private bus operators, it was to be seen whether it would phase out the state transport in terms of mileage or provide permits to the bus operators on existing terms.

He suggested that the government should provide bus permits to the private operators not for the existing mileage, but by increasing the mileage after reducing the mileage of the state-run buses. He, however, asked as to how it would be possible for the government to increase revenue collection by granting bus permits liberally. Because, he pointed, granting permits liberally to private bus operators would directly hit the state-run transport and lead to loss of revenue.

Lieut-Col C.S. Dhillon (retd), president, Indian Ex-services League, Punjab, has criticised the imposition of some taxes. He observed the government should have spared the common man of the burden of additional tax.

The employee class, which is the worst hit, is highly critical of the Budget proposals. They expressed their condemnation over the proposals since, they claimed, the government had been too harsh towards them. Mr Ikhlaq Singh, a state government employee, questioned the wisdom of the government in freezing DA and LTC for a year. He said the government should ensure that the prices of essential commodities did not rise in case of freezing of the DA.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), Ludhiana, has regretted the silence of the Punjab Government about industrial growth in the state.

Reacting to the Budget proposals presented by the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh, the CICU president, Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, and the general secretary, Mr Avtar Singh, said, “While the Budget bears a reformatory touch, it has been found to be silent about industrial growth provisions.”

Mr Pradhan and Mr Singh pointed out that there were no provisions to arrange payment of capital subsidy to industrial units pending since 1996. Moreover there had been no mention of the sales tax issues pending settlement to mitigate problems of the traders and industrialists.

They urged the government to make immediate arrangements for paying capital subsidy to industrial units immediately. They also opposed any possible hike in power tariff in near future so as to enable the industry to come out from the ‘unprecedented recession’.



Prabhakar is ACE chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A lot is needed to be done in the information technology (IT) sector if the gap between states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and Punjab is to be bridged. It is this objective the Association of Computer Entrepreneurs (ACE) is striving for, says Sunil Prabhakar who took over as president of the ACE yesterday. Meanwhile, the following have been elected the other office-bearers for the present term: vice-president — Mr Kanwaljit Bakshi; general secretary — Mr Adish Bamba; joint secretary — Mr Ankur Gupta; and PRO — Mr Satnam Singh. 


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