Tuesday, August 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Deadlock continues at DMCH
Meeting fails to resolve crisis
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Despite repeated attempts by the district administration, management, employees and leaders of various political parties to put an end to the crisis, the “deadlock” between the management and employees of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) continues to effect the normal functioning of this institution.

The meeting of the representatives of political parties, management, employees, administration was held that started last night and ended without much headway in the wee hours in the morning. The employees remained adamant on the stand that they would sign the MoU only after discussing the issues with the senior leaders.

A senior official of the district administration claimed that almost everything was resolved, the management had agreed to the demands of the employees and it was decided that whatever possible benefit could be given to the jailed employees, would be given but at the last moment, the employees withdrew from the situation.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, president of the District Bar Association, who has stood by the DMCH employees all these days, alleged that some of the mediators were playing foul in the game. “Some of the persons are not willing to get this issue settled. The senior union leaders of DMCH union are absconding and the junior ones are immature. They cannot take the decisions on their own. I would say that the role of police and administration was very positive throughout the meeting. Everyone wanted to resolve the issue but the employees said that they will sign the papers after consulting with their seniors”, maintained Mr Dhanda.

Mr Baldev Verma, the acting president of the managing committee said that last night’s meeting continued for seven hours and everything was settled. The employees demanded that suspension of the union leaders should be revoked. “We assured them that everything will be sorted out but let the suspended leaders give us their reply. We had even called the Principal, Dr S.C.Ahuja, when an MoU was to be signed but the employees said that they will come again after discussing the whole issue with other leaders. And the issue could not be resolved”, said Mr Baldev.

Mr Harnam Das Johar, a Congress MLA present in the meeting, appreciated the efforts of the district administration and management for their cooperation. “Almost all their terms and conditions were met. Everything had been sorted out but because of the adamant attitude of some of the employees, the MoU could not be signed.

The management as well as the administration assured that they will not allow any kind of victimisation to the employees”, added Mr Johar.

The meeting was attended by Mr Anurag Aggarwal, DC, Mr H.S.Sidhu, SSP, Mr A.S.Sinha, ADC, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, Mr Surinder Dawar, Mr Baldev Raj, Mr G.C.Dhawan, Mr Tarsem Dodhan and Mr J.S.Layalpuri.

However, the striking employees of the DMCH in a press statement condemned the role of the district administration. Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, president and Ms Navraj Kaur, general secretary of the employees’ union, said that administration failed to give any assurance of withdrawal of cases against the jailed employees. They alleged that the management also did not concede any of their demands. The administration pressurised the employees to sign the MoU which was not acceptable to them.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress, Ms Amarjeet Kaur, on behalf of the National Federation of Women has decided to submit its report regarding torture of women employees in jail, to the National Commission For Women and National Human Rights Commission.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Ms Amarjeet Kaur said that women employees were brutally beaten up by the policemen. “Women are not to be touched by policemen, according to the rules. But these women employees were harassed by the police personnel(male). They were even threatened by these men”, said Ms Amarjeet Kaur.

The National Federation of Women demanded that cases against women should be immediately withdrawn and those who ‘tortured’ these women should also be severely punished. Amongst others present were Ms Barjinder Kaur, Ms Jeet Kumari, Ms Avtar Kaur and other women leaders.



Three nurses get bail
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
The Sessions Judge, Mr V.B. Handa, has accepted the bail applications filed by three DMCH nurses, Surinder Pal Kaur, Sukhchint Kaur and Joginderjit Kaur, in a case registered against them under Section 397 of IPC at police station Division No 8.

The court has ordered to release them on bail on their furnishing personal bonds of Rs 25,000 with one surety in the like amount, to the satisfaction of Illaqua Magistrate.

These nurses were booked on the complaint of a Punjab Home Guard Constable- Meena Kumari, with the allegations of snatching her mangal sutar and gold ear rings during a clash between the police and DMCH union on July 13.



DEO orders probe into student’s punishment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
The District Education Officer, Mr Bachitar Singh, today ordered an inquiry into the alleged punishment of a student of the Nohria Mal Jain School, which led to a part of her body getting paralysed. The principal of the school has since denied the charge saying the student was physically weak earlier also and the numbness part of her body had nothing to do with the punishment given to her at school.

According to the parents of Rajni, she was reportedly asked to stand in sun as punishment for something the by the teacher, which led to a part of her body getting numb. The matter has also been referred to the police. Rajni, a class IX student, was reportedly punished for not bringing her marks sheet with her and was asked to stand in sun for sometime.

The DEO said that although the student belonged to a private school, still an inquiry had been ordered since it related to corporal punishment of the student.

He said that the doctors attending upon the student had said that the medical and psychological investigation of the student indicated that she had suffered on account of punishment by her teacher. 



Hosiery manufacturers resent entry tax on yarn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Association of Knitted Garments Manufacturers has demanded the withdrawal of four per cent entry tax on yarn. A meeting of the association was held here today under the chairmanship of its president Vipin Vinayak. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of 22 other associations of the garment manufacturers.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr Vinayak said there was already four per cent sales tax on the hosiery products. But after the imposition of four per cent additional entry tax on the yarn, it would lead to increased input costs . He said this would spell doom for the hosiery manufacturers as the input costs will further go up.

“The sales tax officials were also harassing the manufacturers by imposing heavy penalty on the manufacturers found guilty of tax evasion,” he added.

Mr Vinayak also demanded the withdrawal of the sales tax barrier outside the railway station. He alleged that the traders were made to suffer a lot of harassment on account of this barrier and it should be removed at the earliest.

Expressing concern over the power situation, he said the industrial units were rendered almost idle as there was virtually no electricity available to the manufacturing units. Instead of making alternate arrangements, the government has imposed tax on the generators. He demanded withdrawal of the tax on the generators as this was an arbitrary and an undue tax.

Among those present at today’s meeting included Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Jaswant Takkar, Mr Bhola, Mr Dinesh Bhatia, Mr Ramakant and several others.

Meanwhile, the Knitwear Club of Ludhiana, an association comprising of hosiery manufacturers, has sought the immediate intervention of the state government for the survival of the knitwear industry that is facing an unprecedented recession owing to the slowing down of business and policies of the state government.



More torture, less entertainment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Watching a movie in a city cinema hall is more of a torture than entertainment, especially in summers. Almost all cinema halls have no air-conditioning and are not air-cooled either. In this hot and humid weather, it is the lure of watching your favourite film stars and the absence of any other effective entertainment source that makes the movie buffs watch the complete film. Though at the end of the movie is most common reaction is Oh! three hours of hell.

It is mandatory for cinema hall owners to provide a clean environment, comfortable seats, drinking water and at least air-cooled halls. Clean toilets and proper fire exits and also their responsibility. After Uphaar tragedy in Delhi, where 52 lives were snuffed, cinema owners were instructed to be more vigilant about fire exits. But no hall in or around the city meets all these requirements.

Aarti cinema has an air-conditioning system but that is not put to use. Cinema hall owners say that the Deputy Commissioner has banned the use of ACs in commercial places. But the plea is not maintainable as cinema halls are public places. Even the fans provided on the sides have limited effect. They do not provide any relief to the people seated in the centre of the hall. Poor crowd-management is another problem. Aarti opens the doors simultaneously for both incoming and outgoing cine-gores. This creates a chaos and people can be seen exchanging hot words with one another.

People occupy seats in Malhar on the first-come-first-served basis. But when an usher asks a seated person to get up in order to accommodate a person having a ticket for that particular seat, the situation generally turns sour. All this causes inconvience to others also.

Car park attendants charge Rs10 for car parking and almost never issue any ticket. Orient is comparatively a new cinema and has a cleaner environment, but owners are earning money by charging car owners for parking on the government land. They can charge for the parking of vehicles on the cinema premises and not otherwise.

The lesser said about sanitation, the better it is. Since food stuff is sold inside theatres, and cleanliness is not taken care of properly, rats abound in the hall. The quality of snacks is poor and rates exorbitant. The stench emanating from toilets of few cinema halls is nauseating.

Cool drinking water seems a distant dream as only a few taps are provided and that, too, at the most inconvenient places. Cinema owners have most of the cases, rented out canteens. Water is obviously not provided or else how would the canteen contractor sell soft drinks?

The owners on the other hand have their bagful of woes. They claim that entertainment tax is too high and has brought many cinemas on the brink of closure. Earlier the tax was levied on the number of tickets sold, but now they have to pay tax at a flat rate. Frequent power cuts have increased their burden as they have to spend extra money on diesel to run projectors, they say.



Ram Naik’s resignation demanded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Anti-Corruption Council of India has demanded the resignation of the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, on the issue of alleged corruption and illegal and unfair allotment of petrol stations and gas agencies to influential BJP office-bearers, their relatives and other VIPs etc.

In a press note issued here today the secretary-general of the council, Dr Shiv Gupta, and the chairman, Mr Dev Dutt Sharma, demanded an independent inquiry into all these allotments made throughout the country.

The council further demanded immediate cancellation of these allotments. The Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report had already pointed that the Petroleum Minister did not follow institutional system to select the chairman of the Selection Boards and allottees, it said.

Dr Gupta also appealed to the Supreme Court of India to intervene into the matter of alleged illegal and unfair allotment of petrol stations and gas agencies. 



Postal services collapse
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 5
Postal services in the township have collapsed with the failure of the local post office to deliver mail in time.

Many residents will have to pay the penalty for the delayed payment of telephone bills. Besides this, examination roll numbers and other important letters have also started accumulating in the post office.

When contacted, the Assistant Post Master, Mr Sohan Lal Arora, said the one and only postman proceeded on a medical leave on July 25. The Post Master said that he had lodged a formal complaint with the Assistant Superintendent (west) Patiala, however, no alternate arrangement had been made so far.

Mr Arora said he was working overtime to save people from inconvenience, but out of two postal assistants, one was on a 10-day medical leave since last Saturday.

Mr Arora, who is to retire within one year, said that till two months back the post office had three clerks but later the strength was reduced to two, out of which one was on a long leave. One person cannot do the work of two, he said.

Mr Bhagwan Dass Garg, Senior Superintendent, Post Office, Patiala, could not be contacted. Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, a former minister of the state, however, urged the Central Government to provide adequate staff in the post office and ensure proper facilities for public. Officials responsible for the degradation of services should be punished, he said.

Mr Hakim Rai, president of the Pensioners Association, Amloh subdivision, also criticised the services of the Postal Department.



Strangers part as friends
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Members of the Ludhiana Elite Junior Chamber conducted a workshop, ‘Dreams and Destinations’, in Magnet Resorts here yesterday. This body is affiliated to the Junior Chamber International of Florida (USA), said to be world’s largest youth organisation for individual development.

The interactive workshop had six modules of an hour each that focussed on a practical approach towards the goal. The workshop began with 40 strangers, who came close as a team of four international experts trained them.

The participants began by expressing their dreams, visualising their goals, in the first module called Dream. In the second module, Drive, they learnt how to work towards the goal. The third module, Direction, taught them that, besides fire in the heart, right direction was also needed to achieve goals.

The next module laid stress on the importance of ‘Discipline and Determination’. The last module was about taking the feedback to assess the behavioural change in participants. Later, a valedictory function was held.



Inquiry sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The local unit of the youth wing of SAD (A) has urged the Punjab Government to check the alleged nefarious designs of Nurmehlias and order an inquiry as to why the sect chief has struck a defiant posture only after the fall of the Badal government.

Mr Manjit Singh Syalkoti, general secretary of the unit, said it was unfortunate that the Congress government had also allowed the sect followers to continue their function at Malout while indignant Sikh youths, who were protesting against the denigration of Sikh Gurus, Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhism, were brutally cane-charged and fired at.

He urged the government to send him to his parent state in the interest of peace and for maintaining social harmony in Punjab.



4 of a family killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Four members of a Panipat based family were killed and six others were injured when the Qualis car they were travelling in, lost balance and hit a tree near Jugiana village in this district late last night. The injured included children also.

The family was returning from Vaishno Devi, when the accident took place. The deceased have been identified as Anuj Gulati, Mukesh Kumar, Karan Sharma and his wife Deepti Sharma. The injured admitted to CMC hospital were Nitin, Mani, Sudesh Rani and Neeta. Two other injured were admitted to Oswal hospital. 



Stolen scooter recovered
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 5
A stolen scooter was recovered by the Payal police at Barewal on Sunday. Jaswinder Singh son of Satwant Singh of Barewal village had allegedly stolen the scooter of Shamsher Singh of Jahangir village near the Gurthali Pull at Doraha.

ASI Lekhraj of the Doraha police chowki recovered the stolen scooter (PB55A-4268) from a naka at Barewal village and registered a case under Section 379 of IPC and arrested Jaswnder on the spot.

Gambling case: Hawaldar Om Parkash of the Payal police station seized cash worth Rs 465 from Aasu of Khanna and registered a case against him under the gambling Act.

Fraud alleged: A case of fraud was registered under Sections 420 and 406 of IPC at the Payal police station on Sunday. A complaint had been lodged by Mr B.P. Tiwari, Deputy Manager, Legal, Punjab Finance Cooperation, Jaipura Road, Doraha, who alleged three persons had committed a fraud with the cooperation’s as they did not pay installments and shifted the machinery to another place without the corporation’s prior permission. No arrest has been made.



Man murdered by colleague
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
A man, identified as Bihari, was murdered in full public view outside Basant resorts Sarabha Nagar, late last night. He was an employee of the restaurant and was reportedly murdered by another employee identified as Guddu.

According to Mr Rajinder Singh, the owner of the resort, both had a fight over some personal issue. They were leaving the resort after the day's work when they started quarreling over some issue. They came to blows and Bihari fell down after being hit hard by the accused.

The police said the accused had escaped.

Sources said the police had rounded up some close relatives of the accused and hoped that he would surrender soon.



New avenues for CAs in insurance sector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Ludhiana branch of the Northern India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India yesterday evening organised a seminar on the new challenges and opportunities before the chartered accountants after the opening up of the insurance sector in the country.

According to Mr Hans Raj Kapoor and Mr Arvind Pal Singh, regional president and the secretary, respectively, eminent experts deliberated on various issues like opportunities in insurance sector with emphasis on draft broker regulations, role of chartered accountants as surveyors after privatisation and categorisation with special emphasis on fire and miscellaneous claims, new developments in the insurance sector, tax and audit issues in view of treatment to insurance claims and premium and banking in the present scenario and financial planning with reference to corporate finance.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Praveen Kataria, director, Tropical Insurance Consultants, said that earlier the chartered accounts could only work as surveyors, but with the opening of the insurance sector there were a number of other options for them in the insurance sector.

Other speakers at the seminar included Mr Sanjiv Soni, who underlined the role of chartered accountants as surveyors after the privatisation with special emphasis on new policies, Mr Y.P. Ralwa, who spoke on the tax and audit issues relating to insurance claims and the premium.


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