Saturday, July 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Plan to set up district urban 
development authorities
Encroachments to be regularised
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The Punjab Government is planning to set up district urban development authorities on the lines of Patiala Urban Development Authority all over the state, besides formulating a policy to regularise some of the illegal colonies or encroachments after taking hefty charges from the colonisers.

This was disclosed by Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, in an exclusive interview with The Tribune. He was in the city in connection with the inauguration of a newly constructed community centre at a cost of Rs 76.64 lakh at Dhandari Kalan Urban Estate, Phase IV, today.

Elaborating, Mr Puri said that the government was thinking of setting up such local level authorities in the major districts, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, SAS Nagar and Ludhiana. He further said that the aid for the Patiala authority was sanctioned by the Union Government. Referring to the illegal encroachments on PUDA lands, the minister disclosed that in all, 52 encroached sites of PUDA land had been identified and out of these 75% sites are encroached by religious places and permanent structure have been built up. He said that these structures would be vacated or regularised within a short span of time.

Stating that Ludhiana topped on the list of illegal encroachments on PUDA land, the Minister said that the government was contemplating of more stringent laws to discourage the unauthorised colonisers. The punishment for the same in the existing laws was very less, including a fine of Rs 10,000 and three years imprisonment which was not considered rigorous by the colonisers. The government has also planned to issue licenses liberally to the private colonisers and the new licenses would positively be issued within a period of two months from the submission of applications.

Mr Puri asserted that to provide the maximum plots for the construction of houses to the people in the planned and developed areas, Punjab Urban Development Authority would develop more urban estates in the different cities of the state and encourage more and more private colonisers for this purpose. This would also help minimise the unplanned and haphazard type growth around each city, which at later stages emerged as dirtiest slums.

He said that urban estates are being developed at Moga, Khanna, Samrala, Jagraon, Fatehgarh Sahib, Amritsar, Nabha, Malikpur, Pathankot and Anandpur Sahib where all the modern facilities would be provided to the people.

He further informed that with the issuing of liberal new licenses, PUDA was expecting the private investment of around Rs 700 crore in the next two years.

Commenting on the anti- corruption drive launched by the state government, Mr Puri reiterated that the drive would continue till the complete eradication of this evil up to the lower level. He disclosed that no officer of PUDA involved in conniving in illegal encroachments on government lands and corrupt practices would be spared. Blaming the Badal government squarely for its decision of December 21 to make illegal appointments and allotments of lands to selected institutions on the last leg of their government, the Minister disclosed that a high-level committee headed by Mr D.S. Kalha, Chief Administrator, PUDA, has been formed to review all such cases and strict action would be initiated against the guilty Officers.

Mr Rahul Bhandari, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, highlighting the different developmental projects of Ludhiana Zone informed that a new official complex of PUDA was being constructed in 1.4 acre plot at a cost of Rs 2.19 crores, where all the offices relating PUDA will be shifted, which will help the people in getting their problems solved at a single place.

He said that PUDA was going to construct a new community centre and swimming pool in 2 acres of area in Urban Estate, Dugri road at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore, which would be completed by the end of August, 2002. Mr Bhandari further informed that a modern bus-stand was being constructed by PUDA at Jagraon at a cost of Rs 3.59 crore and PUDA had also taken up the construction of sports complex at Moga costing Rs 3.38 crore, where all the latest facilities would be provided. The project would be completed by the end of September, 2002.



MC officials face action for water-logging 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 5
As the city experienced its first showers of the monsoon during early hours of this morning, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, accompanied by senior officers of the civic body went round several localities in Zones A and B in the old city to oversee the areas, where accumulation of rain water was a persistent problem.

In the wake of accumulation of water at various sections of the roads around the CMC, Division No. 3 chowk, Baba Than Singh chowk, Shingar Cinema chowk and Samrala Bypass road, at least six officials concerned, including two Executive Engineers in the B and R Branch, have been served with show-cause notice for negligence and failure to take necessary remedial measures.

According to sources, the officials of the B and R wing had been repeatedly directed to ensure that garbage heaps were removed from road surface, depressions repaired and road berms lowered before the onset of the rainy season to ensure immediate drainage of water.

It was further learnt that the road around Shingar Cinema in Zone B, where water was stagnating for five hours after the light showers stopped, was constructed only two years ago with kerb channels. Meanwhile, there were reports of water-logging from several other city localities, including Harnam Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Haibowal, Gill Road and some areas in Civil Lines.



7 hurt in clash between cops, traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Seven persons, including four policemen, were injured in a clash between policemen and shopkeepers in the Gur Mandi market, near Chaura Bazar here, this evening when the police raided the market to seize alleged fake CDs of music albums as well as films. The agitated shopkeepers have called for a Ludhiana bandh tomorrow.

In a massive raid, more than 150 policemen of four police stations along with a team of the CIA wing and a special team of officials of a music company raided the market allegedly notorious for being one of the main markets of fake CDs in the state. The police sources said the raid was quite successful as a large number of duplicate CDs were recovered and at least three persons involved in the crime arrested.

The clash which was sparked off by the raid was quite fierce. While the shopkeepers, alleging police high-handedness and forcible entry into a religious place, pelted stones and bottles at the policemen, the police responded by resorting to a mild lathi charge.

The tension prevailed till late in the evening as the shopkeepers gathered outside the Kotwali police station in protest against the raid.

The police sources said the raid was necessary as the market was one of the biggest illegal markets preparing thousands of fake CDs of music albums and latest films.

The police sources said the illegal trade thrives on a national network and the channel starts from Dubai. The films and music album CDs are released in a foreign country a week before it is released here. The duplicate CDs manufacturers then prepare thousands of copies which are distributed worldwide.

The police said the copies received are again multiplied several times. Due to this the person producing the film or the album suffer huge losses. This is why a team of music company came to Ludhiana and raided the shops with the help of the police.’

The shopkeepers, talking to reporters outside the Kotwali police station, said their trade was legal and they were only selling the CDs and not manufacturing them. They said the police harassed them every couple of weeks.

In protest against the raid a number of markets adjoining the Gur mandi were closed. The Bhadaur House market, in which a number of CD shops, are situated was also closed partly in panic and protest.

The Gur Mandi Shopkeepers Association and the Akal Garh Market Association have called for a Ludhiana bandh tomorrow.



10 PCMS docs opt for long leave
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 5
Faced with tremendous pressure from the government to stop private practice, a number of Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) doctors have gone on long leave. They are now practising medicine in their private clinics in different parts of the city. This follows the government notification asking all doctors to either stop private practice or opt for long leave.

According to the notification issued by the state government in May, 2002, the doctors in regular service with an experience of minimum 8 years can avail themselves of this leave. In the meantime, if the doctor’s private practice picks up, he/she can opt for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) and all retirement benefits will be provided to him under the Premature Retirement Rules, 1975.

As per the notification, the doctor can take up to five years leave. A three-year leave can be sanctioned first, which can further be extended to another two years. During this period, doctors will not be entitled to the Non-Practice Allowance or any other allowance. Even if the doctor fails to do well in private practice during the period of leave, he will be able to get his government salary. This leave will be deduced from the doctor’s “leave account”, according to the directions.

Meanwhile, no fresh recruitment can take place in the absence of the doctor going on a long leave. The doctors applying for long leave cannot rejoin their government duties before three years. The “special leave” will be given to the applicant once in his entire service.

According to reliable sources, more than 10 PCMS doctors in the district have already applied for this “special leave”. One such doctor on condition of anonymity disclosed that he was posted in some remote area, which was far from the city, and he had no opportunity in that village.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the state unit of the PCMS Association, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, admitted that many doctors in the state were opting for this leave. He said one reason behind it was the poor infrastructure of the State Health Department. They were not getting the job satisfaction. The other major reason was that private practice always lured PCMS doctors.

It is pertinent to mention here that there are more than 500 vacancies in the state that need to be filled immediately. But with the recent notification the number of vacancies in the state will definitely increase.

The Medical Officers at Lohara, Pamal, Sahnewal, Manopur and Threeke etc. have already applied for the special leave.

Dr J.S.Bhullar, Civil Surgeon, said, “they should definitely give us the alternatives.”



SGPC chief concerned over rise of dera culture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
“Apart from the growing consumerism, the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee has been unable to convey and effectively spread the message and essence of Sikhism among the masses for the past 30 years. The rise of the dera culture in the state is a fallout of this vacuum and we are doing our best to fill this vacuum,” says SGPC chief, Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar.

He was in the city to preside over a special meeting of gurdwara managers and preachers at Gurdwara Alamgir here this noon. While appealing them to shun active politics, he said they should instead motivate the people to shun all superstitions and conduct themselves as per the Sikh rehat and maryada.

He also urged them to impress upon the people to desist from constructing gurdwaras on caste and class distinctions, which have no place in Sikhism. The mushrooming of gurdwaras in the state were also a cause of concern, he pointed out.

Elaborating on the steps being taken in this context, he said that various outfits — Nihangs, Sant Samaj and the various Sikh Missionary Colleges — have conveyed their approval for working collectively for the larger cause of the Panth and not in isolation. But most of the organisations maintained that they had never been asked by the committee for any cooperation, he revealed.

He said it was unfortunate to see various acts of sacrilege taking place in the state. The recent ones happened at Jangiana and Bhaini Phatta villages in Sangrur district. “We are investigating the matter and ascertaining whether these were accidents or the work of anti - social elements aimed at creating disturbances in the state,” he said.

Reacting to queries on the Nurmehlia controversy, he said the SGPC had taken a serious note of the issue. Cases have been registered against some supporters of the sect at Goraya while investigations are going on in the case of Garhshankar where a self styled Baba, claiming himself to be an incarnation of the Gurus, had asked the womenfolk not to wear the kirpan, he revealed.

The SGPC chief promised that although “our house had been unattended for quite a long time but we are going all out to set things right. This will be achieved through an elaborate and an ambitious programme launched by the committee which will show results by 2004, “ he stressed.

Commenting on the defeat of the SAD in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee elections, he said it was not the victory of the Gurcharan Singh Tohra- led SHSAD, but the effective managing skills of the Delhi and Punjab governments.

While denying that the SGPC was hurriedly forwarding their recommendations on the draft of the All-India gurdwara Act, he clarified that they were following established procedure and recommendations would be made to the Centre only after getting the approval of the general house of the committee.

A meeting in this context is being held in Chandigarh tomorrow, he added.



‘Review police patrol scheme’
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 5
The PCR motor cycle scheme, under which cops started round-the-clock patrolling of various city areas in three shifts of eight hours each, has come under fire from business community here which had welcomed the scheme at the time of its introduction more than three months ago .

In a joint statement issued here yesterday, Mr Kamal Gupta, Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Mr Ashok Jindal, president, Rice Traders Association, and Mr Chander Arora of the Kesar Ganj Road Traders Association, have demanded that in view of the high-handedness being displayed by the PCR cops all over the city, the whole scheme should be reviewed afresh. They alleged that recently two cops manning a PCR motor cycle, while having dinner at a popular dhaba on the Naulakha road threatened a dhaba worker for not serving them water promptly. And when the dhaba owner demanded payment for the food, the cops allegedly threatened him that his dhaba would be closed down.

A few days ago, two PCR motorcycle cops had unnecessarily humiliated a man who was going to buy some dinner along with his niece near the CMC Hospital. One of the cops, who was said to be high on alcohol, ignored the pleas of the man and forced him to frog-leap on the road. It was only after the intervention of the shopkeepers of the area that the uncle-niece duo was spared further humiliation by the cops on the pretext that they were lovers.

Another case of high-handedness on part of the PCR motor cycle cops was witnessed around midnight on July 2 when the cops set fire to a kiosk near the railway crossing in New Sham Nagar, falling under the Sarabha Nagar police station. According to available accounts from various sources, the cops ordered some eggs but beat up the poor owner , one Jagram, when he asked for the payment. As if this was not enough “to teach a lesson to poor Jagram”, the cops brought in more colleagues, took his son to the police station and later burnt the kiosk to ashes.

Following publication of the gruesome story in some newspapers, the police, instead of taking disciplinary action against the guilty cops, covered up the matter by taking into custody Jagram and pressurising him not to lodge any formal complaint. The DSP of the area denied that the kiosk had been burnt down by the cops. He said that it was probably an accidental fire that gutted the kiosk.

On Wednesday, explaining the fire, an official at the Sarabha Nagar police station had attributed the fire to MC or PUDA officials, who wanted to remove encroachments in the area, little realising that there was no need on part of either of these two bodies to remove a khokha by burning it at midnight and that too when such structures in its neighbourhood were not touched at all.

The poor family has been terrorised into submission and silenced by the cops.

These instances of utter police-raj on part of the PCR motor cycle cops happened only during the past four days. Several incidents in which inebriated PCR motor cycle cops misbehaved with general public had been reported in the past too. Two men , who were sitting outside their houses in New Kundan Puri, were beaten without any provocation by such cops about two weeks after the scheme was introduced.

There are also reports that PCR motor cycle teams even visit areas out of their jurisdiction with the purpose of making a fast buck. How else can one explain the presence of such a team at the railway station at Gill?

The business community of the city, which had contributed 25 motor cycles to the scheme to make it successful, is now clamouring for scrapping the whole scheme or disciplining of the lower-rung cops manning the motor cycles.



‘Mann’s statement ridiculous’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
Terming the statement of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann that both factions of the BKU were either pro- Akali-BJP combine or the Congress as ridiculous, the BKU general secretary, Mr Manjit Singh Qadian, today advised Mr Mann to keep silent on the matters which were beyond his comprehension.

In a press statement, the BKU leader drubbed Mr Mann by saying that just as there was only one Akali Dal in spite of several other groups claiming to be so, there was only one BKU. He said whichever party came to power, raised a BKU of its own to suit its purposes.

He said Mr Mann had also formed a farmers’ wing in his party and if he was really a friend of the farmers, as claimed by him, he should join the BKU in its forthcoming fight for the cause of those debt-ridden farmers.



SAD flays govt policies
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 5
The Congress government of Capt Amarinder Singh has only been working on one-point programme and that is to withdraw the concessions provided to weaker sections and farmers in the state, said Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, former minister, while addressing a meeting of SAD activists of Amloh block in the party office here yesterday.

To divert the attention from anti-people policies, false cases were being framed against Akali leaders, he alleged. Free power supply of 50 units for Dalits, free travel concession for women above 60, shagun and yellow card schemes and old-age pensions were being stopped.



MC fails to remove encroachment
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 5
Two local residents have encroached a street in the Gulmohar Nagar area on the Amloh road here. The municipal council had served a notice under Section 172 of the Punjab Municipal Act to the two residents — Nathu Ram and Prem Chand — to remove the encroachment within seven days. It was mentioned in the notice that if the encroachment was not removed in the said period, an FIR would be lodged against them and the encroachment would be removed by the council and the expenses charged from them. However, even after 15 days of the notice, no action has been taken.

According to information, some residents of Gulmohar Nagar Colony complained on May 28 to the council that Nathu Ram had encroached a street in the colony and urged the council to remove the encroachment.

Following the complaint, the municipal council authorities issued a letter to Nathu Ram and Prem Chand to show proofs of ownership of the land, but they failed to do so. Only Nathu Ram had removed a small part of the encroachment but the whole land is still in their possession.

According to information, after the notice under Section 172, another notice under Section 220 is to be issued. Meanwhile, the EOMC was not available for comments.



200 jail inmates to be shifted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
To tackle the problem of overcrowding in jails, the State Prisons Department has given its nod to shift at least 200 convicts or undertrials from the local Central Jail to Hoshiarpur. The shifting of prisoners will take place shortly. Inmates lodged in Bathinda and Ferozepore jails would also be shifted as these jails were also facing similar problems.

Disclosing this to Ludhiana Tribune at the Central Jail here today after inspecting the progress of “Jail Inmates’ Panchayats” scheme, the ADGP (Prisons), Mr Izhar Alam, said the problem of overcrowding in the state jails was definitely there but it was not as acute as in jails of the other states.

Mr Alam said the jails in Punjab had around 2,500 extra prisoners and they could be accommodated. He said in the local jail, there were 2,300 inmates as against the capacity of 1,500. Because of the high number, some of the inmates had to be shifted.

Mr Alam and Mr G.S. Sidhu, Superintendent Jail, Ludhiana, said the panchayat scheme had a evoked great response.

Giving details about the scheme, Mr Alam said four different committees of jail inmates had been formed to give them due participation in administration. These committees were: Mess Committee, Barracks Committee, Anti-drug Committee and Medical Committee.



Power shutdown
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
The 11-KV Simlapuri and Daba Road feeders under the 66-KV sub-station on the Gill Road will be shutdown tomorrow from 7 am to 10 am for maintenance work, according to a spokesperson of the Punjab State Electricity Board. The 11-KV Preet Nagar feeder will remain shut from 7 am to 2 pm.

As a result, power supply to Daba Road, Guru Nanak Market, New Janta Nagar, Daba Colony, Simlapuri, Preet Nagar and Lohara areas will be affected during these hours.

To carry out the maintenance work at the 132-KV Jamalpur Phagwara line, all 11-KV feeders under the 66-KV sub-station at Noorewal will also be shut from time to time from 6 am to 6 pm on July 7.



Plantation drive by BJYM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) will organise a tree plantation drive all over India to commemorate the birthday of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, erstwhile body of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Mukherjee’s birthday falls on July 7. The BJYM will plant about 10 lakh trees.

According to a press statement, Mr Pradeep Kapoor, national secretary of the BJYM, will visit the city and launch the drive by planting a sapling. BJYM workers will also create awareness among people about planting trees for making the environment green and clean.



Award for bank
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, July 5
The local branch of Punjab Agricultural Development Bank has been selected for the first prize for its performance during 2000-2001 among the primary cooperative agriculture and rural development banks in Punjab by the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development.

The award, which includes a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh, will be given by the Prime Minister at a function to be held on July 12 in New Delhi.



DEF men to take part in rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
A large contingent of the Ludhiana district Democratic Employees Front (DEF) will participate in the state-level rally and demonstration to be held at Jalandhar on July 14 in protest against the 73rd amendment to the Constitution aimed at abolishing boards and corporations and the anti-employee Budget passed by the Punjab Government.

Mr Rajinder Singh Lalton, press secretary of the DEF, Ludhiana, said efforts were underway to mobilise as many members as possible.



Woman alleges police victimisation 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
Krishna, a resident of Bank Colony in Haibowal, has alleged victimisation at the hands of the police, which has failed to register a case against a policeman and his brother, living in her neighbourhood, who had allegedly broken her arm more than a month ago.

Emboldened by the police inaction, the accused have started threatening her, says the woman.

Narrating her tale, the woman said each time she went to the local police station to complain against the harassment, she was reprimanded for raising such trivial issues. She added that sometime back, some policemen had actually forced her to leave thumb impression on a piece of paper that was not even read out to her.

The woman said she was going through financial hardships as she had been out of work ever since her arm was broken by Karamjit, the policeman, and his brother. She was being harassed and intimidated by the policeman and other members of his family for objecting to their unruly behaviour.

Man beaten up:
A man was beaten up by his opponents as a result of which he was admitted to the local Civil Hospital yesterday.

Pardeep Kumar of Bilga village has complained that he was allegedly beaten up by Seetal Singh, Randhir Singh, Davinder Singh, Talwinder Singh and Pritam Singh, all residents of the same village.

A case under Sections 324, 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against them, but no arrest has been made so far.

Case registered: Sukhdev Singh of Majara village has complained to the Sahnewal police that he was threatened and tortured by some residents of his village following which a case under Sections 306, 511, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC and the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, was registered on Thursday.

He complained that Jatinder Kaur, wife of Baljit Singh, along with Durlabh Singh, Narinder Singh, Gurnam Singh, Tara Singh, Baljit Singh, Dilip Singh, Sukhej Kaur, Tehal Singh and Harnek Singh attacked him at his house and threatened him and accused him of teasing Jatinder Kaur.

Scooterist injured: Scooterist Satwinder Singh of Latodana village was injured when he was hit by a Maruti van. He was admitted to a hospital in Koom Kalan village yesterday. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC has been registered. The driver absconded with the van.



Sub-contracting exchange in city soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The Apparel Exporters Association of Ludhiana has been granted the sub-contracting exchange with financial assistance for promoting and developing the local knitwear industry.

According to a recent scheme, the Government of India has recognised sub-contracting and ancillary as a means for promoting small-scale industries. Under the scheme, 34 exchanges have been set up all over India.

According to Mr Amrik Singh, coordinator, sub-contracting exchange, the objective of setting up of the exchange is to promote apparel export from here by facilitating the existing exporters and non-exporting units through marketing and promoting activities. He said the aim of the exchange would be to exploit total potential and capacity of the knitwear industry in terms of exports.

He said to achieve this goal and objective, the exchange would develop a rich global data bank of suppliers and sub-contractors to the exporters. The bank will include apparel exporters, dyers, spinners, knitters, fabricators, embroiders and accessory suppliers. The exchange will provide various facilities to its members which include match making, utilisation of spare capacities and excess raw material and accessories, buyer-seller meets in Ludhiana, seminars, participation in international fairs and exhibitions and creation of a ‘virtual exhibition centre’ and a website of all members.

The coordinator said the association had already accomplished the first phase of setting up of the exchange by purchasing the necessary high-tech equipment. The process of enrolling the exports as well as the ancillary is also being started. He said: “Since the sub-contracting is meant for growth and development for the whole industry, therefore, all tiny and small units engaged in any process of apparel making are invited to register with the exchange”.

He pointed out that the exchange would prove to be beneficial for small and tiny units like fabricators and knitters in their growth and development. It will also help the units working in the domestic sector as they can maintain their ideal supply to the sub-contracting exporters during the lean season also.



Vyas’ acquittal welcomed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The Federation of Yarn Trade and Industries has welcomed the acquittal of Mr M.M. Vyas in an inquiry conducted against him by the Vigilance Department. Mr Vyas was recently acquitted by the vigilance inquiry.

Mr Vyas, an eminent educationist and businessman, is also the president of the federation. During the rule of the Akali-BJP government, he was appointed Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. Despite enjoying a clean image as the Chairman of the trust, a vigilance inquiry was instituted against him, which was conducted by the SP, Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa. The inquiry found all charges against Mr Vyas baseless.

Mr Vyas is also a senior RSS functionary associated with the Vidya Bharti, the education cell of the RSS. In fact, he is the regional head (for the north) of the organisation. A number of social, business, trade and industrial organisations have hailed his acquittal claiming that the honest and transparent functioning of Mr Vyas has helped him come out clean.

Among those who have welcomed his acquittal include Mr S.P. Lamba, Mr C.S. Ahuja, Mr Raj Behal and Mr K.C. Gupta.



PNB, Ludhiana, gets new head
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Mr A.K. Loomba joined as the new Senior Regional Manager of Punjab National Bank (PNB), Ludhiana Region, yesterday. He replaces Mr K.I. Singh, who has been transferred to New Delhi. On his joining here, Mr Loomba was accorded a warm welcome by employees of the BRS Nagar branch. The management of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha and Laxmi Narayan Mandir also welcomed Mr Loomba. He was presented a siropa by the two religious bodies as a mark of respect.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Loomba said PNB’s total business had crossed the challenging mark of Rs 1 lakh crore. For the convenience of the customers, the bank had observed an ATM card issue month recently. He added that PNB had installed more than 170 ATMs all over India in a bid to extend 24 hours service to the public.

He further informed that the total business at the BRS Nagar branch here had increased from Rs 31.17 crore as on March 31, 2001 to Rs 47.18 crore on March 31, 2002, and during the period from January to March, 2002, the total business of the branch had registered an increase of Rs 8 crore.

Mr Pushpinder Singh, Branch Manager, thanked the Management Committees of the Gurdwara and the mandir for their continuous support to the bank.




Ice-cream festival: The master chef of Park Plaza, Mr Harmeet Singh, has developed a variety of ice-cream flavours. The hotel is currently organising an ice-cream festival. Needless to say, they have chosen the king of fruits mango to create exotic and delicious desserts and ice-creams to whet the appetite of the crazy customers. Added to this are all-time favourites like chocolate and an array of juices to create tasty delights like chocolate carolyn, fruity moon walk, chocolate nut slice and dublin bull. TNS


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