Friday, July 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PU colleges to get NOCs
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, July 4
Following assurance by government officials regarding issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) to various colleges of Panjab University for starting technical courses, including BCA, PGDCA and MSc (IT), the row between the PU colleges and the Punjab Government has come to an end.

Earlier, all those colleges that had applied for any technical course this year had been denied NOCs by the government on the grounds that all such courses would now be handed over to Punjab Technical University and colleges affiliated with any other university would not be allowed to start any such course. Besides, there was also a proposal that fresh admissions to technical courses already being run in PU colleges would also be stopped from the current academic session.

But recent telephonic messages to all colleges by higher education officers regarding the assurance of NOCs has given the authorities some relief. These colleges, which had already invested lakhs of rupees on infrastructure and appointment of faculty before getting affiliation from Panjab University, felt quite satisfied when they were told to continue with the admission process.

Such colleges, which would now be getting NOCs, include Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women at Kamalpura village for BCA and PGDCA, Mata Ganga College for Women at Kotan and Guru Nanak National College at Doraha for BCA, and A.S. College for Women at Khanna for PGDCA. The college authorities had been demanding that such a restriction be cancelled for it was very difficult for them to apply for double affiliation. Besides, they had said the Punjab Government should not enforce the new regulation as they were not satisfied with the working of the PTU. They claimed that the PTU was granting affiliation to centres operating in small outlets with inadequate infrastructure and under-qualified staff. Instead, they had said they were satisfied with the working of the PU where well-defined norms were being observed for affiliation, admission and conducting of examination.

The principals of these colleges had claimed that that the PTU should instead restrict itself only to four-year engineering and pharmacy courses. Mr Tarsem Bahia, Principal of AS College at Khanna and Panjab University senator, said he had been opposing the move of the government for denying affiliation for two to three year courses that fall under general education pattern. He had said neither the Punjab Government nor the PTU authorities should interfere in the normal functioning of these courses being run by the Panjab University. He, however, now felt quite satisfied after the higher education authorities of the Punjab Government assured the colleges regarding the quick dispatch of NOCs.

Similarly, Mr Manjit Singh Khattra, Director of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women at Kamalpura village, said although he had not received any written information but the Principal of the college had total him about a telephonic confirmation regarding the issuing of NOCs. He said in case the government had denied NOCs, the college had incurred a huge loss due to expenditure on the entire infrastructure. He said he had firmly decided not to go for affiliation with the PTU.



Bridge collapse: probe completed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The Central Roads Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi, has completed an inquiry into the collapse of five beams of the high level 810-metre bridge being constructed over the Sutlej on the Nakodar-Mehatpur-Sangowal- Sidhwan Bet-Jagraon road. The report is likely to be submitted by next week.

Ludhiana Tribune had highlighted the incident and the matter was subsequently raised in the Assembly. The PWD Minister had given an assurance to the House that the matter would be investigated by an independent agency. Following this, the government had handed over the investigations to the CRRI, which went into the details of the incident.

A major tragedy was averted when one of the beams gave way on June 12 causing a domino effect which led to the collapse of the adjoining beams. The Rs-40 crore project had been initiated by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board and whose foundation stone was laid by the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in August, 2001.

The bridge on completion is expected to reduce the travelling distance between Jagraon and Nakodar by nearly 40 km. People now have to take a circuitous route through Ludhiana to reach Mehatpur, which otherwise is just 10 km away across the Sutlej.

The project is being executed by Gammon India Ltd, which is an ISO 9002 company with a rich experience in bridge building. Company officials had then claimed that it was the fault of labourers who had not fixed the supports correctly and that there was nothing wrong with the quality of materials used and other technical aspects.

The board, which undertakes major infrastructure development works in the state, is concerned that the prestigious project be completed on time.



DMCH row: disadvantage patients
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 4
“While the management and union of the DMCH have been levelling allegations against each other, nobody has bothered to care about the suffering of the patients. The management’s claim that everything is running smoothly in the hospital is absolutely wrong. This can be seen from the number of patients being admitted to various wards and those visiting OPDs”, expressed Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, president, DMCH Union, while talking to mediapersons here today.

Union leaders said it was unfortunate that the management was misleading the patients. “Through newspapers, patients belonging to remote areas get the impression that working in the DMCH has not been affected by the strike but they encounter frustration when proper treatment is not provided to them”, said Mr Navraj Kaur, general secretary of the union.

The union leaders have warned that they will continue with their strike until the management starts considering Hero DMCH Heart Institute and the DMCH as a single entity, abolishes the contract system and fulfils the signed MoU.

They alleged that arrears of employees and faculty members amounting to Rs 16 crore under the Fifth Pay Commission were used for the construction of Hero Heart Centre. If such a huge amount was contributed by the employees towards the construction of the centre, how could it be a separate organisation?, asked the employees.

They were of the view that some of the employees who were initially appointed as clerks and were matriculates, were enjoying the status much higher than even the doctors and head of the departments had. They were given air-conditioned offices and separate rooms and were enjoying the patronage of the management. “The employees who believe in ‘Yes Boss’ theory, are successful in this institution”, alleged Mr Kalia.



Artist’s struggle to sustain talent
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Driven by a strong desire to express his feelings, Shingara Singh is an artist by choice. The hunger pangs due to poverty do not deter him from making a name for himself in the artists’ world.

The 18-year-old boy hailing from a hamlet, Bukhri Kalan, on the Tajpur road here, Shingara, a 10 plus two pass-out, is gifted with a mature mind and a talent to paint his strong feelings with oil on canvas.

Belonging to a humble family, where asking parents for oil paints is like asking for the stars, this naturally learned painter has been saving every penny to buy colours and create something that conveys a message. A feminist to the core, his paintings on the sufferings of women leave one wondering how a simple and shy youth like him can ever understand the bad world, which mistreats the women.

A middle child of a progeny of five of his father, who is a labourer, Shingara is of late painting portraits from photographs of people who pay him Rs 500 for the effort. “I save some money after this and buy the material required for painting,” he says.

But he hates to do this work, as he feels that it is out of compulsion that he has to waste his talent. In one of his latest paintings, he has depicted the plight of women showing a woman crying with tears rolling down her cheeks and another woman being set ablaze for the greed for dowry. On the same canvas he has shown a boat without oars in the form of a woman, as he feels, “life without a woman is like a boat without oars that cannot move from one bank to the other.”

A single painting is enough to make one marvel at the maturity of his thoughts and perfection. His portrait of famous artist Sobha Singh had earned him an invitation from the artist’s daughter to dine with her. There he had met with many artists who were full of praise for his works.

His five-year journey as a painter had started when he had made a painting of Lord Krishna after borrowing paints from his friend. After that he made portraits of his teachers in Senior Secondary School, Dhanansu, which have found place on the walls of the school.

But his life has come to a standstill now. After passing his Senior Secondary examination he wanted to go in for a Bachelors in Fine Arts but lack of funds has taken its toll on his talent. “I have never asked my father for money. Rather I have tried to help my siblings with my small earnings. God has always been helpful to me. It is he who gifted me with this talent. Now only he would help me nurture it,” he said.



Body found at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Recovery of the body of an unidentified aged man from cricket stadium on the Punjab Agricultural University Campus caused quite a scare on the campus here today.

Spotted by some morning walkers, the body was found lying in the stadium early today morning. The police said the man, in all probability, had died due to excessive intake of liquor. Two bottles of liquor, one empty and one having a small quantity left in it, were recovered from near the body.

The police suspects that the man must have suffered brain haemorrhage due to liquor intake. However, the police was not completely closing other lines of investigation, including that someone might have forcibly fed liquor to the man. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.

The police, however, maintained that the university had tight security network and there was a remote chance of someone bringing the body from outside.

The deceased, however, could not be identified He was clean-shaven and had white hair. His age is guessed to be between 50 and 55. He appeared to be a migrant labourer.



Police ‘shielding’ accused in dowry death case

Ludhiana, July 4
The police is adopting dilly-dallying tactics in what seems to be a clear case of dowry death to let some of the accused off the hook for reasons best known to it, allege the relatives of Geeta, an 18-year-old, who was allegedly done to death in the local Bangaru mohalla by her in-laws on February 21 last.

A case under Section 304-B of the IPC had been registered against Vinod Kumar, husband of the deceased, and some other members of his family who were active partners in the crime. The post-mortem report had revealed that Geeta had been administered poison and had been strangulated to hasten her end. Later, her body was set on fire in order to destroy the evidence.

In the FIR, Geeta’s father, Mr Babu Ram, who lives in Ahmedgarh, had stated that he had married Geeta to Vinod Kumar on November 26, 2001. But shortly after the marriage, his son-in-law started pestering him to stand as a guarantor for a loan of Rs 1 lakh from the bank in which Mr Babu Ram worked. He, however, refused to oblige his son-in-law as he was not in a position to do so. Some time later, his son-in-law revised the amount of the loan needed by him to Rs 40,000 but this time too Mr Babu Ram turned down his request. Mr Babu Ram further stated that sensing the financial need of his son-in-law, he proposed to his wife that they should give him Rs 10,000 but his wife did not agree to it. He said he and his wife had visited their daughter on February 13 to inquire after her well-being and on February 21, they got a phone call about her death and they rushed to Ludhiana.

He alleged that the police had arrested only Vinod Kumar and had let the others involved in the case go scotfree.

However, Mr Kuldeep Singh Sohi, the investigating officer, when contacted today to know about the fate of the case, said a challan had already been presented in the court.

When asked about the number of accused named in the case, the officer said apart from Vinod Kumar, there were some other accused too in the case but he could neither remember the exact number nor their names as he was not in possession of the case file

The officer further said the investigation of the case had been conducted by another officer and he had took charge of the case at the stage of presenting the challan only.

On cross-checking, a relative of the deceased, who is closely monitoring the progress of the police case, said the family had not received any court summons so far.



Dowry case accused let off under ‘pressure’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 4
Mohali-based Dapinder Singh and his mother, Baljit Kaur, accused in a case of dowry harassment and who were arrested from their residence by the Model Town police yesterday, were allegedly let off under pressure from a police high-up in Chandigarh.

According to Mr Gulzar Singh Brar, father of Gurpreet Kaur, the harassed woman, he had married his daughter with Dapinder Singh in Ludhiana four years ago and her husband thrashed her the very first night for bringing ‘inadequate’ dowry. Mr Brar said he had given dowry far in excess of his capacity to do so.

Later, other members of Dapinder’s family started beating her up now and then in the beginning. Finally, a stage arrived when the dowry-seekers put forward a demand of Rs 20 lakh and turned her out of the house following which she came here to live with her father.

He said he visited Mohali a number of times to request his daughter’s in-laws to adopt a sensible path but they refused to relent. Later, he met the SSP, who ordered the registration of a case against the accused.

Mr Brar alleged that the investigating officer, who picked up the accused from Mohali, released them without a formal bail.

The pressure from the police high-up in Chandigarh has played a decisive role in the release of the accused, he alleged.

In the meantime, Mr Brar has sought the intervention of the Chief Minister and the DGP so that justice could be ensured.



Police campaign against drug abuse
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, July 4
The Punjab Police has launched a campaign to curb drug addiction in the Malwa belt of the state.

Formally launching the campaign, Mr Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, DIG, Patiala range, said addiction was the root cause of all social evils. Expressing concern over the present state of affairs, Mr Sahota said indifferent attitude of the society towards the youth had resulted in such a grave situation, as substantial number of teenagers had now become slaves to addiction. Relatively easy access to synthetic narcotics, which were being sold in the name of medicines, had further aggravated the situation because such pharmaceutical preparations were available at much cheaper rates than poppy husk and opium, which, till now, had been more popular among addicts. He directed officers to hold meetings with retailers of medicines and drugs and issue them warnings.

Appreciating the role of general public in combating terrorism, the DIG asserted that it could have never been curbed without the assistance of the public. He called upon various sections of the society to help the police maintain law and order situation in the state. He admitted that police officers had certain limitations that came in the way of providing justice to aggrieved parties. On the demand of Municipal Council Ahmedgarh, Mr Sahota ordered the deployment of a traffic central unit in the town. He also assured that emergencies would be dealt with by the city police irrespective of the jurisdiction.

Mr Amarjit Rai, SSP (Sangrur), and Mr Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, DSP (Malerkotla), also spoke on the occasion.



SAD supports employees’ stir
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 4
The SAD will support the agitation of employees for justice in the state, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, SAD General Secretary and former Finance Minister, while addressing a gathering at Nalini village in this constituency yesterday.

The Congress had misguided the employees before the Assembly elections through false propaganda. The SAD-BJP government had given a relief of Rs 12.5 crore to its employees, whereas the Congress Government in its first three months rule had announced various cuts on their emoluments.

“The present government is going on the footsteps of the late Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon by registering false cases against Akali leaders and sarpanches. The Akali Dal has decided to accept the challenge and will not lag behind in any way to serve the cause of Punjabis”.

“After the salary cut, the government is going to introduce Rs 250 crore taxes on farmers in the shape of 4 per cent on fertilisers, increase of 2 per cent on pesticides and 7 per cent to 12 per cent on diesel, while the privatisation of the PSEB will put burden of Rs 950 crore which will include Rs 300 crore free electric supply to the farmers and the rest Rs 650 crore will be charged from the industry and domestic consumers,” he said.

“Punjab Roadways, PEPSU Road Transport will be given into private hands and the future of employees has become dark. The dry season and non-supply of power to the farmers have caused great hardship for the farmers”, he added.



Withdrawal forms in short supply
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 4
Prescribed forms for the withdrawal of money are not available in the local post office. Consequently people have to buy the forms at the rate of Re 1 per form from private persons. This was alleged by Mr Rakesh Kumar Garg, Chairman, Yuva Sangathan, Amloh, in a press statement here yesterday.

Consumers have to pay their telephone bills with penalty for late payment. But the fact is that the bills are not delivered to them in time by the only postman in this subdivisional headquarters town. The postman has to deliver the mail, money orders etc in all offices, Mr Garg stated. He has urged the department authorities to open a special counter in the local telephone exchange to cope with the needs of the consumers.

When contacted, Mr Amrik Singh, in charge, Post Office, Amloh, admitted the shortage of forms, the requisition of which had been made but the supply was awaited. Since the time of the princely Nabha state, only one postman has served the town whereas the population of the town and government offices have increased manifold.



DCC supports anti-corruption drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr K.K. Bawa, and the vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, have supported the anti-corruption drive and other people-friendly measures initiated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

In a joint statement here today, they welcomed the Budget proposals and said the Amarinder government had brought in a realistic and futuristic Budget that will save the economy of the state.



4 killed as bus, canter collide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Four persons, including two women, were killed and 12 others injured when a mini truck (canter) in which devotees were on their way to a dera of Baba Wadbagh Singh had a head-on collision with a Punjab Roadways bus coming towards Jagraon this afternoon.

Three persons died on the spot while the fourth expired in a hospital. The injured were first rushed to Jagraon Civil Hospital and then shifted to CMC Ludhiana, as the condition of some of them was serious. The police said the condition of three was serious.



Book released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
A collection of short stories ‘‘Utran’’ written in Hindi by Reeta Bhushan Mangla, a writer and a journalist, was released by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). This is the first book of the writer which comprises 14 short stories.



1 held for issuing fake cheque
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 4
A man was arrested for issuing a fake cheque for Rs 50,000. A case was registered against him at the Payal police station on Thursday.

The complainant, Mr Gurpreet Singh Mangat, of Mangat Sales Cooperation, Doraha, has alleged that Harminder Singh issued him the cheque, but it was declared fake by the bank authorities. The accused had been working as a dealer and transporter and owed nearly Rs 2.90 lakh to the complainant. When the complainant asked for money, he issued him the fake cheque.


Liquor seized: The local police seized 71.25 ml of liquor from Baljit Kumar of Jagraon on Wednesday. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Opium seized: The Sahnewal police seized 3.5 kg of opium from the possession of Gurbax Singh of Gahor village and Malkit Singh of Jangna village on Wednesday.

A case under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.



LMA to give annual awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 4
In an effort to encourage outstanding entrepreneurs and managers, the Ludhiana Management Association will hold an annual award function in August this year.

Giving this information, Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary of the association, said that nominations for the awards should reach the office by July 15. He said the three awards would include LMA-Vardhman Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, LMA-Dayanand Munjal Award for Manager of the Year and LMA-Trident Award for Young Innovative Entrepreneur/ Manager of the Year. Last year these awards had gone to Mr Arjun Malhotra, Mr S.S. Sandhu, former Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, and Mr Sanjeev Goyal, respectively.

Mr Goyal informed that an awards committee which scrutinised the entries received from various nominees and short-listed the candidates to the executive committee for final evaluation had already been set up. He said like every year, the awards would be presented by the Governor of Punjab on annual day function.


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