Thursday, August 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Missing links complete water-supply puzzle
Efforts on for improvement
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
For a better water supply here, the Municipal Corporation plans to derive an optimum performance from the available infrastructure, reduce wastage and promote conservation. Mr S.K. Sharma, Municipal Commissioner, said an exhaustive survey had been carried out in several areas getting little or no water supply. Missing links in water-supply mainlines were found to be the reason.

“The team that included senior officials of the O and M Wing found that the affected colonies were located in outer, under-developed and densely populated wards of the old city. There, all attempts to boost water-supply had failed because of the missing links,” the Commissioner said.

According to Mr Sharma, there are about 1 km of missing links at more than 15 locations. To immediately fill up the gaps will cost about Rs 4 lakh. The corrective exercise that has been ordered will strengthen the water-supply network and reduce the problem of supply at low pressure. After the works are over, the Executive Engineers concerned will issue certificates that no missing link is left.

The MC team has also identified 51 tubewells that supply little or no water because the life span of these is over. Most such tubewells (23) were in municipal Zone D, followed by 11 in Zone B, 9 in Zone A and 8 in Zone C. “The MC is digging again for 30 of these tubewells in this financial year at a cost of Rs 3 crore. The remaining work will be taken up in the next financial year,” said Mr Sharma.

The Commissioner said 15 new tubewells would be added this year for providing citizens with more potable water. In areas where the output of tubewells was inadequate, submersible pumps were being installed to augment the water supply. With 312 tubewells providing citizens with 315 million litres of water per day, the per capita water supply was more than the national average. The Central Ground Water Commission had recommended that there should be 17 tubewells for every 1 lakh persons, whereas, the 312 units here catered to the needs of 15 lakh persons.



PSEB engineers blame it on bureaucracy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The PSEB Engineers Association has alleged that the bureaucracy is distorting the factual position about the power sector realities before the State Regulatory Commission, in an attempt to save itself. An attempt is also being made to project reduced annual revenue requirements of the board to push it to the brink of bankruptcy, so that the power sector can be privatised.

According to Mr M.S. Bajwa, president of the association, though it was a political commitment of the previous state government to provide free electricity to the agricultural sector, it was the duty of the top bureaucrats sitting in the Secretariat to compensate the board either by making Budgetary provisions or diverting funds otherwise. Thus, instead of owning responsibility for derailing the board financially in the past five years, the bureaucracy was trying to shift the blame on the board management and engineers for the mess the board finds itself presently in.

He claimed that the State Financial Commissioner, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, in written submission to the State Regulatory Commission, has stated that the board needed about Rs 900 crore this year for purchasing power from the Centre. “This projection is totally ridiculous, and the association questions the validity of the figure. A perusal of the balance sheet of the PSEB reveals that Rs 1,132 crore were spent in 2000-2001. Because of the poor monsoon, this expenditure is bound to exceed Rs 1,400 crore in 2002- 2003,” he added.

“The Chief Secretary and the Financial Commissioner pleaded the case on behalf of state government and their approach was totally irrational, unrealistic and short-sighted. Punjab needs to increase its power generation capacity and the Lehra Mohabbat state project must be executed at the earliest for which the board needs about Rs 1,500 crore,” he pointed out.

“The experiment of tri-furcation in various states has proved counter-productive and there is no reason why that approach should be adopted by the PSEB. There is a need to increase power generation by executing new projects and strengthening the existing network of power transmission and distribution,” he opined.

“The association has urged the State Regulatory Commission to finalise the revision of tariff structure at the earliest so as to tide over the present financial crisis. As per provision of the Electricity (Supply) Act, the PSEB should be allowed to make three per cent ROR in addition to the board’s annual revenue requirements,” he added.

He said the PSEB was charging 40 per cent to 60 per cent less tariff from various industrial consumers as compared to the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In 1998 - 99, the industrial average tariff in Punjab was 2.43 paise per unit, whereas, in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the industrial tariff was 3.50 paise, 3.96 paise, 3.25 paise, 3.85 paise, 3.51 paise, 3.11 paise, 3.65 paise and 3.41 paise per unit, respectively, he said.



PSEB consumer care centres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The PSEB has started two consumer care centres in the city where consumers can register their complaints which will be dealt with on priority.

According to a board communique, the first centre has been established at the zonal office and people can call on telephone 460303. The complaints will be brought to the notice of the CE, Distribution, at regular intervals.

For problems after 5 pm., consumers can register their complaints on telephone 458372.



Taken for a ride in the name of ‘free trips’
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 7
Unsuspecting Ludhiana residents are being taken for a ride by a travel agency that has collaborated with a local department store, Mani Ram Balwant Rai, for sending city residents on a “2-night and 3-day free” stay at the Lords’ Mussoorie Club, Mussoorie, in return for a purchase of groceries worth Rs 1,000. It is only after reaching in Mussoorie do they realise that they not only have to pay for the promised free holiday, but are also confined to a strict regime of the hotel at rates that are higher than other hotels in the same class.

Unprecedented rush has been witnessed at this Civil Lines store where people have made purchases worth several thousands to collect coupons so that their families or friends could enjoy a free holiday at Mussoorie.

None of the “free holiday” takers suspected any foul play even when the Tourism Net, the travel company asked for a registration fee of Rs 500 per couple. However, the real shock came when these “holiday seekers” arrived at Mussoorie where they were asked to dish out Rs 600 per couple as expenses for food that they were compulsorily required to have at the hotel.

Interestingly, nowhere had the Tourism Net or the department store mentioned on their offer slip that holiday-seekers would be required to make any payment. In fact everyone was made to believe that this was purely a complimentary stay.

Mr Sachin, who was one of the persons who went for this “free holiday” at Lords’ Club, Mussoorie, recently, said, “I will only say that these people are duping us. In any case, we had to pay Rs 1,200 for the meals (breakfast and one major meal) per couple for two days. We had to pay this amount even if we did not eat or had food for less than Rs 1200 but if our food bill exceeded Rs 1,200, we would have paid that extra money also. In the coupon, they have clearly mentioned that the holder has the freedom to order on al-carte basis but when we asked about it, they showed us the special ‘package menu’, which included one dal and one vegetable (including chapati)”, he said.

Ms Tanu, his wife, said this time every hotel owner was giving 50 per cent discount on room rent at Mussoorie.”If we were to pay Rs 1,200 for two days, we could have stayed somewhere else and in a room which is in much better condition than this. But when the manager at the Lords’ hotel did not compromise, we left the room after one day to stay elsewhere and had to pay all the money they demanded”, said Tanu.

As per the terms and conditions of the scheme, this complimentary offer is from Mani Ram Balwant Rai and Tourism Net, and is valid upto December 20, 2002. No substitute or refund or exchange is offered or available against this coupon, if not used during the validity period. Lapse of the coupon for the reason of non-availability of reservation is no ground for any compensation, refund, loss or any other benefit and we are not responsible, Holder of this coupon is required to have breakfast and one major meal at the hotel. The holder has the freedom to order on al-carte basis, the coupon holder is requested to give M/S Tourism Net a minimum of 15 days notice in order to enable them to get confirmation, Mani Ram Balwant Rai and Tourism Net are not responsible for the deficiency of service at the hotel.

Ms Tript Arora of the Tourist Net, when contacted, said so far, six couples had registered their names with us she, however, said, “We have to charge for the meals (Rs 1,200 per couple for two days) even if the person have the food or not. We are taking Rs 500 here as the booking amount and Rs 700 at Mussoorie”.

Mr Balwant Rai of Mani Ram Balwant Rai told Ludhiana Tribune that only two couples so far had gone for this “free-stay” package. “These allegations are absolutely baseless. We have confirmed everything from the hotel. But still I will personally go to Mussoorie tomorrow to look into the matter and will find out the reason why these people have complained”, said Mr Balwant Rai.

When asked that the couples were not given the receipts of the bills they paid, he said he was not in a position to say anything because he knew nothing about it.



Eight city students qualify NTSE
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, August 7
Having cleared their two written tests for the national talent search examination (NTSE) at the state as well as national levels, eight students from the city are now preparing for their interviews to be held at Chandigarh between August 25 and 30.

The students have recently been communicated about their selection for interview and a call for a two-day camp to be conducted by the State Institute of Science Education, Punjab, on August 13 and 14. The students are Rishabh Singla, Sapan Vig, Kriti Ramendu Sharma, Inderdeep Singh and Avitosh Pal Singh, all five from DAV Public School, Amandeep Singh from GGN Public School, Hemant Kumar from Kundan Vidya Mandir and Harleen Chopra from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar.

The students had appeared for the state-level written examination in October last year when they were still in Class X. Of the thousands of students who had appeared in the test from the state, 120 students were selected who were then again called for a national-level written examination held in May after the declaration of the results for Class X examination. The results of this test have now been sent to the students with a call for interview.

Looking forward for his interview to be held on August 26, Amandeep Singh from GGN Public School said that he was busy brushing up the current affairs. He said that even though he was busy with his Class XI, he still managed to spare time to prepare for extra reading.

Hemant Kumar, a Class XI (non-medical) student from KVM, said that he received the letter last week and had been called on for interview August 27. Before that, he would have to go to Chandigarh for a camp on August 13 and 14 for preparation of the interview.

Sapan Vig and Rishabh Singla, both from DAV Public School, said that they were quite confident of clearing the interview and getting scholarships.

Harleen Chopra, a Class X passout from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, and Inderdeep Singh, a passout from DAV Public School, are now not pursuing their studies in Ludhiana. While Harleen, who was the city topper in the Class X examination, has shifted to Chandigarh and Inderdeep Singh has left for New Delhi. Harleen, when contacted at Chandigarh, said that she was not aware of getting qualified for the examination. She said that she was waiting for the letter but she may not receive it because of change in the address.

Meanwhile, Ms Paramjit Kaur, Principal, BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, said that she had recently received a communication regarding success of Mayank Kukreja, now in Class XII, who would be awarded a scholarship of Rs 1,700 per month till he continued his studies.



Free seed for drought-hit farmers
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 7
The Punjab Government has started supplying seeds of pulses, oilseeds and vegetables to the drought-hit farmers in the state free of cost.

Disclosing this, Dr balbir Singh, Managing Director, Punseed, said that the government was supplying seed of sathi moong Variety SML-668, toria and peas (mattar ) to those farmers of the state who had ploughed their fields where paddy had been damaged due to shortage of water. Punseed and PAU were coordinating in the supply of seed, he said.

According to Dr Balbir Singh, the worst-hit districts are Amritsar, Patiala, Sangrur, Faridkot and the Kandi areas of Hoshiarpur, Ropar and Gurdaspur.

The supply of free seeds would cover an area of about 7,000 acres and about 1,000 acres in the Kandi area, respectively. This would help in the diversification of agriculture in the state, he hoped.



Cong leaders condemn pilgrims’ massacre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Several Congress leaders here today condemned the killing of nine Amarnath pilgrims near Pahalgam in Kashmir valley. They attributed the killing to the failure of the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the people over there and demanded dismissal of the Farooq government.

In a joint statement the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, local MLA, Mr Surinder Dawer, and the senior vice president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, while condemning the incident observed that the Farooq government had failed in safeguarding the life and property of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

They demanded that the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L K Advani, who also heads the home ministry, should own moral responsibility and resign. They pointed out each time such incident takes place, Mr Advani blames Pakistan. They said while there is no denying the fact that Pakistan is directly involved in the acts of terrorism, but the Government of India had also failed in its duty towards the nation.

Mr Gill, Mr Dawer and Mr Dewan also expressed serious apprehensions over the possibility of fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir under these circumstances. It would be in the interest of the people of the state that the elections should be held under President’s rule.

The leaders observed that Dr Farooq Abdullah had proved a total failure in handling the delicate situation in J&K. They said it appeared that the NDA government was keen on reinstalling Dr Farooq again as the Chief Minister, by manipulating the elections. The only solution would be free and fair polls and that can only be possible under President’s rule.



‘Ban ACs in offices, cut cinema shows’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
The District Youth Congress (Urban) has urged the Punjab government to effectively enforce the ban on airconditioners in all government offices and cut down daily cinema shows from four to two in the wake of severe shortage of electricity, which had adversely affected all sections of people.

In a statement here today, the DYC senior vice president Mr Sarbjit Singh Bunty and general secretary Mr G.S. Arora, have observed that the entire state was reeling under an unprecedented power crisis to the extent that all government and private schools and colleges were ordered to be closed for one week. The industrial units were also facing drastic power cuts in addition to various other restrictions, which had virtually dislocated the industrial production.

They said this would result in massive saving of electricity, which could be diverted for other productive and useful purposes.



Expressing love with designer rakhis
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
To celebrate Raksha-Bandhan, to strengthen the bond of love among brothers and sisters, ‘Devotion India’, an exhibition of designer rakhis was held today at the Lakshmi Ladies Club. Ms Alpana from Chandigarh, one of the organisers of the exhibition, said the exhibition displayed a wide variety of rakhis. The traditional as well as several other rakhis for kids and elders were displayed at the exhibition. These were all hand-made rakhis, said Ms Alpana.

“With the help of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I am able to organise these exhibitions at Ludhiana and Chandigarh. I have been making designer rakhis for the past seven year.” said Alpana.

For children, designer rakhis, in the shape of kites and Disney characters were made with POP. Rafia dolls were also made on the doris. There were special Calcutta-style rakhis, which were traditional ones with mauli as the base studded with dabka, nug, nali dori and gota work.

There were pure silver rakhis and rakhi-sets in the form of photo frames and Ganeshas (wall hanging) and buckets. “In addition to this, we have made some gift-packs with roli, chawal, mauli in it.

The range of the designers rakhis start from Rs 10 and goes upto Rs 30 and on. The silver rakhis will cost around Rs 50 to Rs 100 and the gift-packs will also be in this range.

I have always been inclined to do something creative. We hold such exhibitions at various places. Last time, I was able to sell around 5,000 rakhis in Ludhiana”, maintained Alpana.



Literary body holds meeting
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 7
A meeting of the Sarv Bharati Likhari Sabha International was held in the committee room of the Punjabi Bhavan here on Monday.

Prominent literary celebrities who participated in the meeting were: Manu Sharma, Binder Dev, Dr Jagtar Dhiman, Mandeep Baddowal, Desh Raj Agnihotri, Dr Jagtar Bal, Dr Pritpal Kaur Chahal, Davinder Sekha, Karamjit Singh Aujla, Kanwal Walia and Kulwant Jagraon. President of the sabha S. Davinder Sethi introduced the newly elected office-bearers to the house.

A detailed discussion on various steps being taken to revive the activities of the sabha was held.

Harbhajan Phallewalvi, Desh Raj Agnihotri, Mandeep Baddowal and Kulwant Jagraon recited their latest poems. Mool Chand Sharma enthralled the house with his song on women empowerment, while Dr Pritpal Kaur Chahal read out her story ‘Karaz’. Kanwal Walia sang a few of her hit folk songs. Manu Sharma suggested that every meeting of the sabha should end by paying homage to some literary personalities. Dr Jagtar Dhiman said the sabha should have a website.

To promote young writers, it was decided to hold a competition. An open invitation was given to writers to submit their original compositions viz poems, short stories, songs, ghazals, novels etc, written in Punjabi, Hindi or English. The entries should reach by October 30. The winners and runners-up will be suitably awarded. An evaluation committee was constituted for this purpose.

The sabha also decided to bring out a magazine or a newsletter so that writers, especially the freshers, could get a platform for getting their compositions published. An editorial board was constituted for this purpose.

The chairperson of the sabha, Dr Swaranjit Kaur Grewal, presented a vote of thanks.



Shifting Of Baddowal depot, a sensitive issue

The Ministry of Defense seems to be resorting to pressure tactics on the Punjab Government to provide an alternative site for Baddowal Ammunition Depot. The shifting of the depot is subject to the condition that the state government provides a suitable alternate land to the Ministry of Defense.

The state government must accept this challenge and ask the Centre to pay the requisite amount for acquiring the land. The land in occupation of the depot will fetch a huge amount, if auctioned to colonisers.

The term security has been very much maligned as and when it suits the authorities concerned. If any structure within 1000 yards of Ammunition Depot is a security hazard, then why are the administrative block of the depot, along with living in accommodations for offices and jawans located so close to the depot. Has, any disciplinary action been initiated or taken against the sanctioning authorities to build the depot within the limits of prohibited area. After all Ayali Kalan, Bains, Detwali, Badhowal villages have been in existence since ages.

The predicament is to find an alternative land, as near as possible to the present locations of the depot because of the densely populated areas in the vicinity. It is practically impossible to find an area as vast , leaving around an uninhabited 1000- yard security corridor.

Alternatively, the depot should be split or bifurcated into several small independent units. From the security, as well command, control and functional-efficiency point of view, this could lead to several advantages.

Area between the Sutlej and the Ludhiana-Ferozepore highway could be surveyed for location of independent sub-depots. This would reduce the haulage distance of the user units to these sub-depots.

Areas occupied by the Army in Ludhiana city at the foot of the Jagraon bridge and the Dholewal side of the old GT Road should be vacated and the troupes shifted to the Baddowal depot area. These areas, if auctioned, will fetch huge revenue to the treasury.

I personally feel the government should take this land from the Centre ,in lieu of the Ammunition Depot area. In that case the Army could be shifted to an open area and the government would get huge fund in its kitty.

Lieut- Col Dalip Singh (retd.), Village Ayali Kalan, Ludhiana - 142027.

Manufacturers unjustified

Apropos of news item titled ‘‘Hosiery manufacturers resent entry tax on yarn ’’ published in ‘‘ Ludhiana Tribune’’ on August 6, the demand of the Association of Knitted Garments Manufacturers for withdrawal of four per cent entry tax on yarn does not carry any weight. The fear expressed by the president of the association that this would lead to increased input costs is not real.

The levy of entry tax would not adversely affect those hosiery manufacturers, who transact accounted businesses, due to the following provision inserted in the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, with effect from July 15, 2002 : ‘‘ Entry tax paid by dealer under the amended Punjab Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Area Act, 2002, shall be set-off against his liability to pay tax under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948. ’’

It is clear that proposed entry tax is not an additional or double tax and would not lead to any increased input costs for those carrying accounted businesses because the entire amount of entry tax paid by them would be set-off against their sales tax liability arising on sale of hosiery products.

In fact the proposed levy of entry tax is welcome as it would curb massive sales tax evasion taking place in case of yarn bought from out side the state, generate revenue of cores to the state exchequer, create level playing field for all players and neutralise extra advantage presently enjoyed by the tax evaders and provide relief for honest dealers whose businesses are on verge of extinction.

Ashok Kumar, Charted Accountant [via e-mail]

Grateful Punjab pensioners

The Punjab Government Pensioners are highly indebted to ‘‘The Tribune’’ for voicing their outstanding concerns and pleading their case through its esteemed columns. As a result, a number of key recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Panel have been implemented benefiting nearly 1.5 lakh pensioners.

Kudos to the paper for helping pensioners getting their due. The paper has, indeed, emerged as their ‘‘advocate ’’. The pensioners wish the paper a greener tomorrow.

Yash Paul Ghai, Additional General Secretary, Punjab Government Pensioners' Association, 48, Kidwai Nagar, Ludhiana

Resolve DMCH row immediately

The DMCH issue has been painful for residents of Ludhiana and patients who come to the city from all over Punjab for treatment

Members of the Welfare Society, Ludhiana, strongly feel all problems could be sorted out if those involved work out their differences honestly and with a positive approach.

The volatile situation should be controlled before it leads to a point of no return . The society appeals to the administration, the management and employees of DMCH to find out an amicable solution to the problem.

Major Sher Singh Aulakh, President, Welfare Society.

Do not dump garbage

I am upset over the letter by Mr J. S. Manku which said that residents of Udham Singh Nagar were dumping the garbage near his house and not in garbage bins provided by the Municipal Corporation.

The primary responsibility of keeping a locality neat and clean lies with its residents. It would serve as a befitting tribute to Udham Singh if people of the locality become aware about cleanliness. This should also be the top priority of the Udham Singh Memorial Trust.

G. S. Sandhu, Detroit, Michigan, USA.



Bill for what?
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 7
Mr Deepak Kumar has received a bill of Rs 1698.07 from Airtel much to his astonishment as he has not even got the connection leaving aside the issuance of any sim card by the mobile company.

Upset over the bill, Mr Deepak Kumar said the dealers of the company came to him for the booking of a connection in February this year, assuring that he would get his sim card on the third day of the booking. He added,” After a wait of six months, I have received the bill from the company although the sim card has not yet been issued.”

Mr Deepak Kumar said instead of accepting their mistake, they refused to entertain my problem and did not give me any satisfactory reply.



Bank officers hold demonstration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Bank officials, led by activists of the All-India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) held a massive demonstration in front of the zonal office of Punjab National Bank here to raise their voice against the vindictive and repressive policies of the bank managements.

Addressing the protesters, several speakers including Mr P.K. Nayyar, deputy general secretary, Mr Vijay Mohan, secretary, AIBOC, Mr Ashok Arora, state president, AIBOC, Mr V.K Kalia, deputy general secretary, SBI Officers Association, and Mr Gurpiar Singh, assistant general secretary, All-India PNB Officers Association, lambasted the bank managements for organised attacks on trade unionism, failure to remove anomalies out of the last wage revision, stoppage of allowances, delay in recruitment and promotion to officers and issues related to vigilance and disciplinary proceedings.

The bank officials threatened to intensify the agitation with yet another demonstration on August 13.



No trace of missing ashram girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Reeta, an inmate of Apahij Rogi Ashram at Laddowal near here, who went missing in July when she went to a nearby market to buy some groceries, still remains untraced.

The nondescript ashram is located a little away from Hardy’s World on the Jalandhar road. Baba Jaswant Singh, head of the ashram, lives there with his wife and two children.

The Sadar police had registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC in connection with the kidnapping of two girls, Reeta and Pinki. But the Baba, who is in his early sixties, pointed towards Pinki, and told this correspondent that only Reeta, her elder sister, had been abducted. The police had obviously misinterpreted the complaint lodged at Laddowal police post by Baba Jaswant Singh on July 17.

In the complaint, the Baba had stated that Reeta had been given Rs 20 to buy some turmeric and chilly powder from the village market situated about half a km from the ashram. When she did not return from the market he went searching for her but without any success.

Baba Jaswant Singh told this correspondent that inquiries made by him later revealed that the girl had not visited the market that evening. She was reportedly spotted at the Laddowal railway station by some cops on duty there, who said the girl had boarded the Amritsar-bound passenger train which left the railway station at about 6.10 pm.

Reeta and her sister Pinki were found crying about seven years ago near the Ghanta Ghar chowk by Inspector Joginder Singh, the then SHO of Salem Tabri police station. The children, who spoke Hindi, had obviously been abandoned by their parents. The SHO had handed them over to Baba Jaswant Singh.

When contacted, the in charge of Laddowal police post, who is investigating the case, said that Reeta had not been abducted as per his investigations.



Owner beaten up, vehicle taken away 
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 7
Balwant Singh of a finance company of Sahnewal, has been accused of beating Ranjit Singh of Govindgarh village for threatening him and took away his three-wheeler on Tuesday.

Ranjit Singh has alleged that he had borrowed Rs 23,000 from Balwant Singh on interest for buying a three-wheeler and returned Rs 44,000 to him but he demanded Rs 24,000 more from him. But on refusing to give more money Balwant Singh allegedly took away his three-wheeler. He also threatened and beaten me, he alleged. A case has been registered under Sections 382,323 and 506 of the IPC at the Sahnewal police station.

Man beaten: A man was allegedly beaten up by six to seven people, yesterday. According to Sawal Khan, a resident of Sahnewal, six to seven persons along with Gurdeep Singh and Varinder Singh of Payal, beat him up with sticks while he was on his way from his factory to his quarters, yesterday evening. He was injured and hospitalised.

A case under sections 341,323,506 ,148 and 147 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.


Rape by cousin alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
An alleged illicit relationship between cousins for the past over four years took a curious turn with the girl, at least seven years elder to the adolescent boy, complaining to the police that she was forcibly raped all these years.

The Vardhman police has booked the boy on the charge of rape. The case was registered after an SP and a DSP conducted an inquiry into the girl's complaint that was filed about six months ago.

According to the FIR, the case began more than five years ago. The boy was in his teens when the girl, on a request of his parents, started giving her tuitions to the boy along with other students. The two, however, allegedly came close and developed an illicit relationship. The woman also become pregnant and underwent an abortion. The parents later came to know about the relationship and told them to stay away. The girl got engaged but the boy allegedly got her marriage broken by telling her prospective in-laws about the illicit relationship.

The FIR states that the boy was neither willing to marry the girl nor was letting her marry somewhere else.



Dhaba owners resent sales tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The Punjab Dhaba Owners Association yesterday demanded the withdrawal of 8 per cent sales tax imposed by the government on them. A state-level meeting of the association was held here under the chairmanship of Mr Sardari Lal. A number of dhaba owners from across the state attended the convention held to impress upon the state government to withdraw the sales tax in the interest of the poor people who cannot afford to take food in hotels and restaurants.

There are over 5,000 dhabas spread all over the state. The dhaba owners pointed out that the burden will obviously pass on to the customers who cannot afford to pay this tax.

The dhaba owners said they had not any objection to the government levying sales tax on them. But they apprehended that this would lead to harassment by the sales tax officials on frivolous grounds. They cited several examples where the government had exempted various services from the sales tax.

The dhaba owners said levying of sales tax from the dhaba owners would not generate much revenue for the state exchequer also. Because they claimed that the turnover of the dhabas was far less to generate any substantial revenue for the state. But instead, it would lead to several problems for the dhaba owners.


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