Wednesday, August 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Protected freshers, watched seniors
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, August 6
Anti-ragging committees have been set up in all five colleges of Punjab Agricultural University here. Each committee includes four members of the faculty and a hostel warden.

The teachers have been told to monitor the activities of senior students and take reports of each day from freshers. Any incident of ragging is to be reported to the respective college dean, who heads the committee in each college.

The new academic session began here today. Though no serious case of ragging was reported, freshers came up with reports of minor incidents. A student of the College of Agriculture said senior students had cornered her group after a morning class. A senior boy asked her to describe her daily routine, while juxtaposing each sentence with the phrase “mere yaar naal”. The girl said she had been forced to use the phrase in an obscene way.

A first-year student of the College of Veterinary Sciences said she had been forced to touch the feet of her seniors in a packed library. One of her friends was told to propose to a senior boy in three different ways. When she refused to do so, she was forced to write “I am sorry” 50 times on a paper.

However, the college deans denied that there had been even minor incidents of ragging on the campus. Dr S.K. Mann, Dean College of Home Science, said her staff had been keeping a close watch on senior students since yesterday. She said eight teachers had been put on the job and two from each group (graduate and postgraduate) were staying in girls’ hostel to protect freshers from senior students.

Dr Mann said she had set up a similar committee last year as well, but, this year, the panel would be even more vigilant, in view of a recent notice of the University Grants Commission regarding ragging. Last night, she saw some freshers in white suits and red ‘dupattas’ — a uniform code imposed by seniors. She persuaded them to reveal the names of senior girls who had made them do so. She let off the seniors with a warning.

Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean College of Agricultural Engineering, has four members in his anti-ragging squad — Dr P.S. Lubana, Dr Kulwant Singh and Dr Amarjot. An assistant warden has been told to monitor activities in the hostel in evenings.



Undertrials clash; five injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
At least five undertrials suffered minor injuries in a clash between two groups of inmates in the meeting room of the local Central Jail late last evening. The clash took place in a hall meant for meeting relatives. The two groups are said to be old rivals and had clashed earlier also. Some jail officials were reportedly present in the hall, but there presence did not deter the inmates.

This is the fourth incident of security lapse in the jail in less than a month . An undertrial was attacked by some others with sharp-edged weapons causing injuries on the chest and throat on July 10. A jail warden was injured when he was attacked by some inmates a week ago and a convict managed to escape from the jail premises on July 29.

According to information available, the clash took place between a group of transporters, belonging to Khanna township, booked in an attempt to murder case, and another group of youths belonging to Ludhiana city.

The members of the first group were Inderjit Singh, Rupinder Singh, Jagjit Singh, Jagpal Singh and Balwinder Singh. The members of the second group have been identified as Gurdeep Singh, Joginder Kumar and Bhupinderpal Singh. They were earlier lodged in in the same barrack . They were put in different barracks few days ago.

Jail sources said the group members were nursing a rivalry against one another and were at loggerheas ever since they were imprisoned. In the recent case, members of the group booked on charge of attempt to murder allegedly made the first move and attacked members of the other group. Soon the situation went out control and by the time the authorities managed to control them, at least five of them were injured. Some jail officials also suffered bruises in the process. The police has registered a case against the members of the group booked on attempt to murder charge.

However, Mr G.S. Sidhu, Superintendent (Jails), said there was no security lapse. 



MC panel to chalk out development priorities
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 6
The first meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation scheduled to be held later this week will be crucial as far as development projects in the city, to be undertaken during the next five years, are concerned.

Headed by the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, two elected members from amongst the councillors, one each from the Congress (Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura), the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor comprise the F&CC which exercises all powers of the MC with regard to contracts to be entered into and purchases to be made by the civic body. The MC Commissioner and other senior officials will also attend the meetings of the committee in ex-officio capacity.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the Mayor said although approval of some estimates for development projects like surfacing of roads, pavement of streets, sewerage and water supply projects, streetlights and development of parks, would be a part of the agenda, but the main task of the committee would be to evolve priorities and a mechanism for planned development.

He said during interaction with party councillors, their views were ascertained on the need-based allocation of funds for providing basic amenities and other infrastructural facilities in their respective wards. In the initial stage, when the MC came into existence, providing equal funds to all city localities was justified, because the civic amenities were virtually non-existent, roads and public streets were in a pathetic condition and massive network for sewerage and water supply had to be laid. “The party councillors, as well as those from opposition parties, are more or less unanimous that allocation of funds for development projects should be need-based and more funds should be made available to undeveloped or underdeveloped wards to bring about parity in availability of basic amenities to all sections of the city residents.

Mr Gill said the basic strategy would be the all-round development of a particular locality, rather than piecemeal work here and there. "Based on availability of funds, we shall strive to pump in the desired amount for development projects in underdeveloped areas so that people in these localities do not feel discriminated against.”

“Even though the need for better roads, parks and other amenities will be given due consideration in allocation of funds, but the main thrust will be on expansion of water supply and sewerage system. The issue of those tubewells that have outlived their normal life span or had become non-functional due to other reasons will also be taken up and funds will be made available on priority basis for re-boring of these 50 odd tubewells” he said.

Mr Gill said in the wake of water scarcity created by the delayed monsoon, the civic body had undertaken the installation of about 25 submersible pumps in different city localities as a measure to augment water supply in problematic areas. “The F&CC will deliberate on the issue and accord formal approval to the step,” he said.



DMCH limps back to normalcy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
More employees rejoined duty in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here today and the OPDs saw a rush of visitors, according to Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal of the medical college.

The 594 persons who resumed work today included 148 nurses, 53 ward-boys and 34 ‘safai karamcharis’.

All students and members of the faculty, including 150 senior doctors and 260 residents, were on duty in the OPDs and various departments.

The OPDs received 157 patients, which indicated that normalcy was returning to the DMCH. The classes were held as usual.

At a special meeting here today, the college Principal, Medical Superintendents and the heads of all the DMCH departments discussed ways to restore normalcy.

A decision was taken to resume admission at the earliest and ancillary services on round-the-clock basis.




Atithi devo bhava. (Guest is God). That goes the saying. In fact in every culture all over the world guests are always held in high esteem without any discrimination or special favour. With process of ‘deculturarisation’ of the age-old traditions even the guests are also ranked according to their position, status and standing. These days a new culture seems to have emerged with different names given to different guests. Starting from the chief guest, guest of honour, special guest, the guests are categorised differently. It is not the simple categorisation. but it goes much beyond that up to the treatment you receive. And the Satluj Club provides a good example. It is a strange paradox in this club that in all functions the person who is supposed to be the host is described and treated as the chief guest!

Cyclists' mission

Ludhianvis’ craze and vanity is well known. Be it the latest car, the latest fashion or the latest trends they will rush for it. No wonder maximum number of latest branded cars can be found zooming here within days of their launch. People here look towards others rather than themselves. In this mad race a lot of people even do not mind taking loans for luxuries, including gambling. Interestingly in a city which probably produces the largest number of bicycles, not many people use them, except for those who use these out of compulsion because they cannot afford a motor bicycle or scooter. However, for a change, a group of professionals have decided that they would use bicycles as mode of transportation. The idea, although liked by many people, has not been bought so well as yet. But the cycle enthusiasts are determined that they will start the trend of using bicycles. They argue that it will solve the traffic and pollution problem of the city. Besides, it will ensure good health for the citizens here. Best of luck.

Baby Tribune and lady Tribune

The Tribune readers have been loyal to the newspaper for over 122 years. So much so that they warmly receive any new offering made by the organisation. Readers accept the offers not only immediately but coin their own names as someone treats a family member. The Ludhiana Tribune is being commonly referred as ‘chotta Tribune‘ or as 'lady Tribune’ by some gracious readers. While calling up at the Tribune sub-office Ludhiana, readers specifically ask for getting news published in ‘chotta Tribune’ or ‘lady Tribune’. Ever since the size of the Log-In Tribune has reduced, people have coined another name for. One reader said they call it ‘baby Tribune as it so teeny-weeny.

Rude president

Courtesy and good manners are hall marks of any individual and are specially needed when one occupies a high office of a president in any organisation. It was brought to the notice of Sentinel that a president of a prestigious Ladies Club was extremely rude to somebody. It so happened that a young lady had booked a date in the calendar of the Ladies Club for September. Since she was coming from out of station her programme got cancelled. The young lady requested the president to cancel the programme well in advance. At this the president just flared up and scolded the young lady telling her that she never wanted to see her in the club ever or else? One just wants to know whether any club is president’s fiefdom? What gives them the right to be rude?

Long journeys

The trains in Japan and other Euro countries travel at more than 200km an hour. But in our good old India the trains still continue to crawl. The Golden Temple Express staring from Mumbai leaves New Delhi Station at 9.35 am. Since it travels via Meerut and Saharanpur, its arrival time at Ludhiana is at 3.10am. Already the arrival time is odd . The travellers of AC bogies have not the slightest idea of the surroundings in the night. So one keeps awake lest one should miss the station. One would think the train had already taken an inordinate long time for covering a distance of just over 300 km. But it becomes nightmarish when the train arrives an hour late. The worse part is yet to come. The relatives waiting are given wrong information about the train's arrival. As a result the tired traveller is left alone waiting for people to come and receive him. Can the Railway Minister do something about it like installing a public address system that announces the arrival of station inside the train to lessen the anxiety of people.

Corporal punishment

Two incidents of corporal punishments in the district have brought back to centre stage this highly debatable issue. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ motto has been forgotten in these circumstances. The guru-shishya relation has also taken a beating. It is a pity that the teacher whose position was just next to God in Indian culture is now being seen as a villain. A scribe, travelling in bus, narrated a shocking experience. Some female teachers boarded a bus near a village. The teachers, probably tired with the day’s work and disturbed by the scorching sun, were quite upset at not getting a seat. At the next stop some seats got vacant but these were inadequate. When the teachers requested an aged male to shift a little, he talked back and a bitter argument ensued. The old man won the argument by shouting loudly, ‘‘ Tusee schoolae bache daradean ho the ure mere the roab panidan ho ’’ (In schools you terrify the children and here you are trying to scare me ).


The deadlock between the employees and the management of the DMCH, a premier hospital of Punjab, continues much to the chagrin of patients and the well-wishers of the institute. Never before have the city residents witnessed such a strife which has virtually crippled the working of the hospital. The way the employees’ agitation was handled by the management and the district administration compelled many a DMCH well-wisher to think that the agitation was part of a well-planned conspiracy to defame the institute, possibly beyond repair. But they were unable to point a finger at or towards any body who could have, in their opinion , masterminded the agitation and its possible fallout. They were definitely at a loss to determine as to who could gain the maximum from the current strife which is showing little signs of coming to an end in the days to come. Anyway, Ludhiana Tribune wishes the ailing hospital a speedy recovery so that it could resume its services to the needy patients.


A water tank on the roof tops has usually been the most neglected part of even a beautiful house. But not any more. Innovative people have found some brilliant ideas to make their water tanks attractive. While the trend of putting different tanks was started by the NRIs in Jalandhar for the first time, Ludhianvis fast caught up with trend. An aeroplane, gas cylinder, a boat and a jumbo-sized football have become a thing of the past. A farmer in Ludhiana has come up with a brand new idea and has constructed a water tank in the form of an eagle. From a distance it appears as if a big bird has landed on his roof. Only by going near one really marvels at the farmer’s innovation.




Bhattal assesses drought losses
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, August 6
Punjab Agricultural Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today said that farmers would not have to bear the surcharge on power, recently announced by the PSEB.

Talking to mediapersons on the launch of a tour programme to assess losses due to drought, she said that her visit to Kup Kalan village revealed that a farmer, Mr Kartar Singh, had lost rice crop in more than five acres due to drought and power cuts.

The minister assured the farmers that the state government would help them in every possible way. But natural calamities could only be dealt with joint efforts of the administration and people, she said.

Ms Bhattal said that Rs 10 lakh had been sent to all districts and the District Commissioners directed to pay compensation to all farmers after necessary surveys. Reacting to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s statement she said that Rs 700 to Rs 2,500 compensation per acre would be given to drought-hit farmers. She also condemned the Union Government for ignoring the interests of the state.

Mr Jagjit Singh, who accompanied her, said that the Congress government was striving hard to stabilise the economy of the state, which had to be shattered by the previous Akali government.

Ms Razia, Mr Jasbir Singh and former OSD to CM, Mr Rajnish Sharma, were also present.



Move to hike power tariff, surcharge irks industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Resentment prevails in the industrial sector against the proposal of 10 per cent surcharge on the power bills above Rs 2,000 and proposed hike in the power tariff by 20 to 40 per cent. Upset over the ‘arbitrary and ill-conceived decision of the government, the industry has threatened to come out in the streets and launch an agitation.

According to Mr Narinder Bhamra, general secretary, Fastener Manufacturers Association of India, the industry was already passing through a great recession due to severe power cuts imposed on the industry and other sections of consumers. The production of the industrial units had been totally thrown out of gear and in particular, the fate of those units was worst which were having time-bound orders with them since they had to pay heavy penalties due to late delivery of goods to various departments. “On the top of it all, the proposal of power tariff hike and imposition of 10 per cent surcharge on energy bills will prove to be a bolt from the blues for the industry,” he said.

Mr Bhamra claimed that a large number of units had already closed down while several others were on the verge of closure. With the power tariff hike and surcharge on bills taking effect, the rest of the industry will also be stifled, thereby creating a related problem of massive unemployment. He said the prices of the raw material, which had already gone up steeply, would further rise and the cost of production would further escalate, causing a great problem for the industry to compete in the domestic as well as global market.

The FMAI general secretary further said the government had announced a relief package for the agricultural sector due to drought. The condition of industry in the state was even worse and rather than putting more financial burden, a similar package for the industrial units was called for at this critical juncture.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has taken strong exception to a so called survey conducted by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) on consumption of power by the farm sector, which it termed as a ‘bundle of lies’.

The BKU secretary general, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, challenged the claim of the PSEB survey that on an average one tubewell consumed 1,800 to 2,000 units of power worth Rs 5,000 each month. In a statement here today, he said even in peak season of paddy cultivation, the farmers were given eight hours power supply in 24 hours whereas normal power supply during other months was not more than 5 hours per day. On the basis of availability of power, one tubewell consumed power between 400 and 450 units in a month during paddy cultivation while the average consumption during other months was to the extent of about 200 units.

According to Mr Kadian, a motivated campaign had been launched by certain persons against facility of free power to the farming community. “Contrary to the impression sought to be created, the massive deficit of the PSEB is not due to free power supply to farm sector but solely due to the gross financial mismanagement, tainted purchases, inefficiency and corruption at all levels,” he added.


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