Thursday, July 25, 2002,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Show-cause notice to construction firm
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 24
Taking strong note of the undue delay in various development projects, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Mr S K Sharma today ordered the issuance of show-cause notice to M/s U.P. State Bridge Corporation, the contractors of Dhandari Kalan Rail overbridge, for their failure to complete the project within the stipulated period of time. The Commissioner, after reviewing the progress of all on-going development projects, has also ordered that the contractor may be called upon to explain why the remaining project work may not be got completed from some other agency at his cost and risk.

It is also proposed to debar the firm from future participation in all municipal development work contracts. These orders were passed after the Commissioner reviewed the progress of all major on-going development works in a meeting where in the representative of Rites, the consultant of Municipal Corporation for all on-going rail overbridge and elevated road project, the Chief Engineer (Civil), Local Government, Punjab, Superintending Engineer (B&R) and Supretending Engineer (O&M) along with the Executive Engineers were present.

The Superintending Engineer (B&R) of the Corporation was also instructed to ensure that the total amount of the escalation charges for delayed completion of the project is recovered from the contractor. The Commissioner has called upon all the contractors of all major development projects that as all their works bills till today stand cleared, therefore, it is their moral as well as statutory duty to complete the project within the specific period of time.

The Executive Engineer (Project) who has failed to achieve the given targets of progress of all on-going projects, has also been issued a show-cause notice for showing dereliction in the discharge of assigned duties. The commissioner has given standing direction to the Superintending Engineers and Executive Engineers of the Municipal Corporation to give certificate of Technical Clearance and NOC of their agencies, if any, required before other project is submitted for financial clearance. Because otherwise the huge money spent on the part completion of the project remains blocked and unproductive. Beside the public has to suffer immensely, Mr Sharma observed.

The progress of projects revealed that the work order for the contract of rail over bridge on Dhandari Kalan railway line was awarded to U.P. State Bridge Corporation Ltd. on October 18, 2000. The total cost of the project, including the consultancy charges and the supervision charges by the railway authorities was estimated at Rs. 15 crore only. The company was required to complete the project within 18 months. This length of the rail over bridge is 1200 meter approximately and was to be constructed on the support of 29 piers. The close study of the project has revealed that out of the total construction cost of Rs 12.73 crore, the company has completed the work for merely a sum of Rs. 5 crore only, meaning thereby that only 38% of the total construction work has been completed at the site.

Referring to other projects the Commissioner said the work on elevated road from Jagraon bridge to Chand cinema measuring approximately 2.3 km was started in May, 2001. The total cost of the project was Rs. 32.68 crore. As per the project design, the contractor was to construct 380 piles whereon 88 caps were to be affixed/fitted with the support of 759 beams. As per the approved work schedule, the contractor/company was to construct 252 piles, 18 pile caps and none of the piers was constructed.

The contract of rail over bridge on Dhuri line was awarded to M/s Gamon India Ltd. on June 12, 2000, at a cost of Rs 9.51 crore only. The project was scheduled for completion within 18 months. Apparently the delay was caused due to non-receipt of the technical sanction from the Railways. However, immediately after taking over as Commissioner, Mr Sharma took up the matter with the concerned authorities. It is now expected that the bridge work shall be completed by September 30, 2002.

The rail over bridge in place of Lakkar Pul, near railway godown, is undertaken by the Public Works Department, Punjab, and the Railways jointly. The corporation has a limited but vital role of making payment of the total cost of the project. It is mentioned there that initially 1.05 crore was deposited with the PWD, Punjab, in the year 1995 by the Municipal Corporation as part payment of the construction cost. The PWD department , Punjab, started the work on 6.2.2002. The PWD (B&R) has not exhausted the funds already given by corporation. The corporation has also paid a sum of Rs 2.36 crore and Rs 4.00 crore respectively, to the railway authorities towards the cost of the land required for project and the construction\ most of Railway part. Thus, the Municipal Corporation has always given top priority to all the development projects . This project is scheduled for completion on August 3.

It may be recalled that apart form the three ROBs and elevated road project, 9 fire stations, a stadium at Pakhowal road, squash court, skating rink and the zone ‘D’ building of the corporation etc. entailing an total expenditure of Rs 76.25 crore are already in progress.


Shruti all confident to take on the world
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 24
“If you want to achieve anything in life, you have to have confidence and a positive attitude. All my focus now is to present myself in the best manner for the Miss World pageant, which will be held in the last week of November in Nigeria,” said Miss India World 2002, Shruti Sharma. She was in the city today to do a modelling assignment for the students of the National Institute of Fashion Designing (NIFD) here in the evening at the Magnet Resorts.

Hailing from Delhi, Shruti could not do well in the Miss India 2001 contest, but she did not lose hope and accepted the challenge of getting through it successfully this year. “I knew I could do it this time. I took care of my shortcomings and had faith in God and myself. I really worked hard to get this title,” she said.

The poor show by the Indian contestant at the Miss Universe contest held recently has not bothered Shruti at all. She said, “Neha did excellent job. We can not get the crowns all the time. India has often turned the tables on the world when it comes to beauty and I have all the hopes.”

She said she had always been attracted to the glamour scene. After the International Fashion Week in Delhi in August, Shruti would start thorough training for the Miss World contest. She admitted that earlier she was not professionally trained. “I have not only matured, but have been groomed to represent my nation in the Miss World contest,” she said.

A graduate in sociology (honours) from Jesus Mary, Delhi, Shruti is going hard on her training lessons. She will be getting training by the professionals in the field.

“I have got a terrific wardrobe by the best of Indian designers, including Ritu Kumar, Shah Abdurazi and Hemant Trivedi,” she said.

Though confidant, yet a bit nervous, Shruti believes that there is no second chance to make the first impression. She gives the credit of her success to her father, who, according to her, has been a pillar of strength to her. She has worked for various campaigns, fashion shows and has launched several products.

“If given good roles, I will definitely work in movies. At present, I am getting many good offers, but I am looking forward to winning the Miss World crown. I know I can act in films. Though I have not taken any formal training, I have the talent to present myself well,” she added.

Apoorva Jha, another model from Delhi, will also be showcasing the designer collection of the NIFD students here this evening. While talking to Ludhiana Tribune she said she had worked in music videos of Anamika, Gursewak Maan and Mehandi Hasan. The good-looking model, who recently completed her chemistry (honours) course from Delhi, has been doing a movie ‘Socha Na Tha’ opposite Abhey Deol (Sunny Deol’s cousin). “It is a Sunny Deol Production. I cannot say much about the film right now. It is a love triangle — a realistic one. It’s month-long shooting has recently been completed at Goa and the movie will be released by the end of this year,” maintained Apoorva.

She said,“I never tried for beauty pageants. I know modelling is not a full-time career and I will definitely do something else.” She considers Madhuri Dixit the most beautiful and talented actress in the Indian film industry. “I will continue with the film career if I am successful, otherwise, I will quit,” she said.

The budding actress is trying hard to learn Punjabi. In her free time, she likes to watch movies and read good books. 


Wisden stumps Sachin fans; Kapil big hit
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Viewers here had a nostalgic journey down the cricket hall of fame yesterday, as the late-night television kept bringing in news from London, of the jury’s decision on who would be the Wisden Indian cricketer of the century. The non-stop reportage simultaneously on three news channels added to the curiosity.

While most youngsters expected the title to go to Sachin Tendulkar, their elders, who have watched Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev play, were not surprised at the judgment. The flashback went all the way to the 1983 World Cup final, when everyone in India was similarly glued to the TV sets, watching the mighty West Indians fall one after another against India. Kapil Dev, who lifted the World Cup that day, turned out to be the hero yesterday as well.

Though Wisden had announced much in advance its schedule for yesterday, it sparked off interest only late evening, when a private news channel declared Sachin to be the Indian cricketer of the century on the basis of its opinion poll. However, Wisden gave Sachin only the popular-choice award.

Girish Kapoor, a long-time friend and admirer of Kapil, says: “Kapil’s selection for the honour was a foregone conclusion, for it takes a rare all-rounder to score 1,000 runs for every 100 wickets he takes. Kapil made 2,000 runs when he had 200 wickets to his credit and had made 4,000 runs by the time his wickets tally had reached 400.”

Almost all judgments were unexpected. The 1985 team led by Sunil Gavaskar was adjudged the best Indian team of all times, though some persons had been expecting the award to go to Kapil’s Devils of 1983.

The 1985 team that included, besides Gavaskar, Krishnamachari Shrikant, Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin and spin sensation Laxmana Shiva Rama Krishana was not only the best but also invincible. It won the Benson and Hedges Cup after defeating Pakistan at Melbourne, where Ravi Shastri was declared the Champion of Champions. The team, then, beat Pakistan at Sharjah after India had been bowled out for 124.

While the youngsters might find Sachin’s exclusion to be unfair, persons like Mr Vijay Verma, a long-time cricket fan, hailed Kapil’s selection. Though he likes Tendulkar, he does not find him as good as Kapil Dev.

Persons like Mr Bhanwari Lal, another cricket enthusiast, said Tendulkar was nowhere near Gavaskar. Mr Bhanwari Lal said: “It was only Gavaskar who could bat aggressively against the West Indian fast bowlers like Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Malcom Marshall. Besides, Gavaskar played in the era of great fast bowlers like Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson of Australia, Richard Hadlee of New Zealand, Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz of Pakistan and Bob Willis of England. Gavaskar played them without having a helmet on.

Old-timers find the ‘best Indian bowler of the century’ award given to Bhagwat S. Chandrashekhar to be well-deserved. Mr S.P. Kapoor, a veteran industrialist and Chandra fan, says: “For a long time, batsmen world over were in awe of this great bowler with a gentle action and fierce deliveries. Chandrashekhar could baffle any batsman.”


Govt urged to declare all water accords null and void
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Giving a new twist to the river-water issue, the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has urged the state government to table a motion in the Assembly to ‘‘declare all accords on the waters signed with neighbouring states null and void to safeguard the rights of the people of Punjab’’.

The NGO, along with other outfits like the Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal), the Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal), the Sikh League, the Panthic Akali Dal, the Ex-servicemen League, the Dal Khalsa, the Punjab Sikh Lawyers Council, the Akal Federation and the International Sant Khalsa Foundation, while appreciating the firm stand taken by Capt Amarinder Singh also decried the ‘‘instigating ’’ statements made by the Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala on the issue.

Addressing a gathering at the old district courts, Mr D. S. Gill, chairperson of the organisation, said the state did not have enough water for its own farmers, let alone allow a major portion of it to flow to Haryana. In fact, the previous governments had always bartered away the rights of people for political gains, he alleged.

It was unfortunate that the political leadership was not far-sighted and had failed to see that the wrong decisions would haunt people in the years to come, he said. The issue was one such decision which was proving volatile and would take a violent turn unless something was not done now, he asserted.

He added that the state government should take the opposition parties into confidence and table a motion declaring all previous accords as illegal and arbitrary in the Assembly so that peoples' interests were safeguarded . To be legally safe, the state should also move the Supreme Court and challenge all verdicts, he added.

‘‘It is a matter of record that people have never accepted any such agreement and took to the streets whenever one was inked. Several people have also laid down their lives on this sensitive issue,’’ he pointed out.

Other speakers said that Haryana, with lesser acreage than Punjab, was already drawing more water. If the statements of the Haryana Chief Minister were an indication, the stage was set for a confrontation. Mr Chautala had reportedly exhorted farmers in Haryana to know how to take their share, they added.

The speakers also pointed out that the issue of the control of the headwork should be taken from the BBMB and given to Punjab to enable it to exercise its riparian rights. 


Phillaur lawyers up in arms against police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
An emergency meeting of the general house of the Bar Association, Phillaur, was held there under the chairmanship of Mr Satya Nand Aggarwal. The meeting was called to discuss the situation developing due to a murderous attack on Mr Jatinder Kumar Aggarwal, a member of the Bar Association, Phillaur.

The meeting expressed grave concern over the inaction of the police despite the culprits having already been identified. The bar regretted that the culprits were openly claiming that nobody could harm them since they held considerable influence in the police.

All the Bar members condemned the attack on Mr Aggarwal and demanded that the police should arrest the culprits against whom the FIR under Sections 307, 323, 324, 341, 148, 149, 506, IPC, and 25/54/59 of the Arms Act was registered in Haibowal police station, Ludhiana.

Mr Jitender Aggarwal explained that his client had moved a complaint to the High Court which was entrusted to the Jalandhar police for an inquiry. But the Jalandhar police had falsely and against the direction of the court registered a “false and frivolous” case/FIR in the Division No 4, police station, Jalandhar, against Mr Jitender Kumar Aggarwal and his client at the instance of the culprits.

The members of the Bar also condemned the role of the Jalandhar police for registering the false case against an advocate. The Bar Association also demanded that the false FIR registered against Mr Jitender Aggarwal be cancelled immediately.

The Bar Association unanimously decided to observe a strike till July 26 in protest against the registration of the false case against Mr Jitender Aggarwal and the murderous attack on him. They vehemently demanded that the accused be arrested immediately. They also demanded that security should be provided to Mr Jitendar Aggarwal. The Bar Association, Phillaur, has also appealed the to Bar Association of Ludhiana and Jalandhar to support them at this crucial hour.


BJP flays govt for wage-cut by PSEB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 24
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come down heavily upon the Congress government in the state for the arbitrary cut imposed on the salaries of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

Mr Rajinder Bhandari, general secretary of the district unit of the party, said in a statement here yesterday that it was disgusting that even the Class IV employees, who hardly managed to make both ends meet, had not been spared. “It is probably the first time that a popular government, rather than creating resources for the betterment of masses, has restored to such a suppressive measure. This high headed and retrogressive step need to be condemned by all right thinking people,” he added.

He further remarked that the Congress government had been accusing the SAD-BJP alliance for mismanaging the state economy whereas the previous government had governed the state, always keeping in mind the welfare of the people.

Mr Bhandari said the freezing of the dearness allowance, LTC and many other allowance was taken by the employees with a pinch of salt and they were already beginning to feel disillusioned with the Congress when another draconian measure was taken, leaving nearly 85,000 PSEB employees and their families high and dry.

He warned the state government to stop fleecing the employees and immediately withdraw this anti-employee measure. 


More unions support DMCH staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A meeting of the Joint Action Committee of the PWD (B&R) Complex Employees Union was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Gurmail Singh Madley. The action committee supported the struggle of the employees of the DMCH, Ludhiana.

The meeting was attended among others by Mr Bhajjan Singh, president of the local unit of Punjab Ministerial Staff, Mr Jang Jasbir Singh, president of Drawing Staff Association, Mr Pardeep Kumar, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Sulkhan Singh, representative of Driver Association, Mr Kewal Singh, Class IV Employees Association and Mr Mata Parshad.

The meeting condemned the lathi charge on the employees of the DMCH. Supporting the demands of the DMCH employees, the joint action committee urged the district administration to direct the management of the DMCH Ludhiana to concede all demands of the employees. Also the false cases registered against the employees of the DMCH should be withdrawn and an inquiry should be held by an independent agency and accused persons should be punished.


Workshop begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A two-day training programme on the Environment Management System started here today. The programme is being organised by the National Productivity Council (NPC), Chandigarh, to create awareness about environment amongst those operating small-scale industries.

The programme is sponsored by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) , Chandigarh, and is organised in collaboration with the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI), Ludhiana, and the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, Ludhiana.

The programme was today inaugurated by Mr Onkar Singh, Executive Director, Avon Cycles Ltd.

Mr A.K. Singh, Deputy Director, NPC, explained the benefits of ISO- 14000 certification and highlighted waste minimisation techniques which could be used for reducing waste and controlling pollution.

Mr D.S. Chawla, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said such programmes should be organised frequently. Mr Ranjeet Singh Bir, Deputy Director in charge of the SISI, said that implementation of ISO-14000 had become a compulsion in today's competitive world. Mr S. P. Singh, Programme Director, NPC, explained methodology for ISO-14000 implementation. 


SHSAD celebrates victory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The local unit of the SHSAD today celebrated the sweeping victory of their party in the DSGPC poll where Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna was elected chief of the committee. Present on the occasion were Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, Mr H.S. Gabria, Mr S.S. Atwal and Mr H.S. Sarhadi.


Special road tax opposed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 24
A delegation of the association of affiliated schools of Punjab under the presidentship of Mr Rajinder Sharma along with Mr Manjit Singh Malerkotla, spokesman of the Congress, Punjab, and Mr Sushil Malhotra, general secretary, Youth Congress, met Mr Tej Parkash, Transport Minister, and apprised him of the problems confronting the affiliated schools of Punjab. The associations requested him to exempt the schools from a special road tax charged from affiliated school buses at commercial rate.

The Transport Minister assured the delegation to take immediate steps in the matter. He said that a new transport policy was chalked out by the Transport Department in this regard. A high-level committee has been constituted so that the Transport Department could take action on delayed matters.

The delegation further told Mr Tej Parkash that the buses had only been purchased for the convenience of the students who came from distant places. 


Man alleges assault by landlord, others
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 24
On the statement of Mr Khushan Jain, a resident of Patel Nagar, the Division No 8 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 452, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC, against Sudhir Jain, a resident of Haibowal, Nirmal Jain, Chander Bhushan and Preeti, all residents of Patel Nagar, and two other unidentified persons.

The complainant had alleged that the accused, in whose house he is a tenant, forced their way into his residence, beat him up and threatened him of dire consequences. The accused wanted to intimidate him to vacate the house, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

Frauds alleged: The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 405 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Gurpreet Kaur, a resident of Raj Guru Nagar, against Raman Preet Kaur Sodhi, a resident of Model Town. The complainant alleged that she had paid Rs 10,000 to the accused for a skin treatment course. But the accused discontinued the treatment in violation of the agreement arrived at earlier between them and thus committed a breach of trust and fraud on her, she added. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division No 2 police registered a case of breach of trust under section 406 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harminder Singh, who resides opposite the CMC Hospital, against Santokh Kumar, who had been employed by him at his medicine shop. The complainant had alleged that he had sent Sonu to Pindi Street to purchase medicines and had given him Rs 5,200 for the purpose. But the accused did not show up again committing a breach of trust. No arrest has been made.

LPG misuse: In a case, probably first of its kind, the Haibowal police on Tuesday booked Vipan Kumar, driver of a Maruti van (08-B-3696), on the complaint of ASI Sumit Sood that the accused was using LPG for running a petrol vehicle. By doing so, the accused had committed an offence under Sections 336 and 287 of the IPC, he added.

Liquor seized: The Division No 5 police on Tuesday arrested Chaudhery Ram, a resident of Jawahar Nagar camp, and seized 12 bottles of country liquor from his possession. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Knife seized: During special checking on Tuesday, the Division No 3 police arrested Gauri Paswal, a resident of Keta Colony under the Jodhewal police station, and seized a ‘kamanidar’ knife from his possession and booked him under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Dowry case: On the complaint of Mr Bachan Singh the police has booked four persons of a family of Sangatpura Mohalla under Section 304-B, IPC, yesterday.

As stated in the FIR, Veena Rani, daughter of Mr Bachan Singh of Kalyan village in Patiala district, was married to Satnam Singh of Mandi Gobindgarh about six years back.

According to the FIR, on July 22 her in-laws sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire. She was admitted to Rajindera Hospital, Patiala, where she died on July 23. On the statement of her father, her husband Satnam Singh, her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gurcharan Singh and Joginder Kaur respectively, and her husband’s brother Gurdeep Singh were involved in the death of Veena Rani. It was alleged in the FIR that her in-laws demanded more dowry.

One held: On the directions issued by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarao, SSP, Khanna, the Payal police claims to have arrested Bagria Ram son of Piara Ram, of village Dhamot, and seized Rs 410 as gambling money from him. The investigating officer, Mr Jai Singh, registered a case under the Gambling Act against the accused.

Eve-teaser booked: An eve-teaser was booked by the Sahnewal Police today.

Sham Lal, son of Chunni Lal Sharma of Sahnewal, said that he is an accountant in a private firm. He alleged that yesterday a boy, Deepak, teased his daughter, Gauri, and also misbehaved with her. She is a B.Com (III year) student in a Ludhiana college and was coming back home from the college when the accused misbehaved with her.

The police has, meanwhile, registered a case against Deepak under Sections 452, 354 and 506, IPC, but Deepak is said to have absconded after the incident.


Four injured
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 24
All the four occupants of Tata-709 (PB-10-AD-9560) were injured when a truck hit them from behind, last evening.

The injured have been identified as Avtar Singh, Hardev Singh, Hans Raj and Mistry Hardev Singh. All have been admitted to Sidhu Hospital, Doraha. A case has been registered.

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