Sunday, August 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Notices to polluting units
‘Install devices or face penal action’
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Fact File

  • 300 industries issued notices by PPCB.
  • August 31 given as last date for complying with the orders or face action.
  • These are notorious for not complying with board’s directions.
  • Authorities claim to act tough on defaulters.
  • Ludhiana city’s air of poorest quality.

Ludhiana, August 24
Fed up with sending reminders to over 300 industries causing pollution in the city for the last two years, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has decided to act tough now. It has given notices to these industries to install a newly designed air pollution controlling device by August 31 or face penal action.

A majority of the over 300 industries were cupola furnace units, rice sheller, brick-kilns and Saila plants. PPCB studies said these units were spreading a lot of pollution in the region and there was urgent need to stall the activity.

Mr Satish Chandra, Chairman, PPCB, confirming the notices said stern action had been taken after giving immense time to the pollution-causing units. He said the PPCB was sending reminders to these units since late 1999 but none of them complied with the requirements.

The units were required to install a special air pollution controlling Device manufactured by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. Mr Chandra said the device does not cost much but unfortunately the polluting units ignored the PPCB reminders.

‘‘ We will take strong action against the units which don’t comply with the PPCB directions’’ he affirmed. He also claimed that 90 per cent of industries in the city had complied with the PPCB directions but these 300-odd units were playing truant.

The timing of the serving of the notices is significant. PPCB sources said the main season of the units starts from mid-September. With the PPCB firm on taking action, the units, it seems would be under pressure to install units, sources said the PPCB was cashing on this hope.

Ludhiana is one of the most polluted cities in North India, courtesy such polluting units. While latest reports suggest that the national capital New Delhi has got substantial respite from pollution after the introduction of CNG vehicles and moving out of the pollution-causing industries, the city awaits some strong action against the pollution-causing units and vehicles.

The pollution levels in the city already assumed alarming proportions. It becomes very difficult to venture out in the city without wearing a pair or glasses or covering one’s nose. The conditions are worst at traffic chowks.

Tribune inquires reveal that the cupola furnace units where scrap is melted, Saila plants where paddy is boiled before shelling, other rice-shellers and the brick-kilns were spreading various toxic gases and pollutants in the air.

According to figures accrued by Ludhiana Tribune from the district administration, which has conducted a thorough investigation in this field, the suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the city is between 500 to 600 microgram while the permissible limit is only 200 microgram. These are the startling revelations of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

The data of the presence of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are also not less alarming. Both the pollutants are equivalent to 80 microgram, while other cities in the state do not have more than 10 to 12 micrograms of these pollutants. These pollutants are considered border line but the way the environment is deteriorating, things can only be worse.

As per the revelations of Central Pollution Control Board, the quality of air in the city is exceptionally poor and it is good in the rural areas of the district.



Murder most foul
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, August 24
The Murder of the youngest son of a middle-class family of Dhaul Majra, village at Bahrain has left the family members repenting on their decision to send him abroad in order to elevate the economic standard of the family. Had Air India not brought the body free of cost as a part of its ‘courtesy’ scheme, the family could have run into further debt to clear the transportation bills.

Mr Pritam Singh and Mrs Pritam Kaur, parents of Jagdip Singh, who had been murdered by his room-mates at Bahrain on July 6, have no words to console his three sisters, who had made rakhis with their own hands. Songs turned to wails for the family which had planned to marry its both sons on the return of Jagdeep who had got his seat booked on a flight on July 7, the following day of his murder.

Mr Pritam Singh, who had been striving hard to run his family by working on a small flour mill and carding machine at his native village, agreed to send his youngest son Jagdeep to Bahrean two years earlier. To meet the expenses he had to borrow money from some of his relatives. Before going abroad, Jagdeep had been working as carpenter at Ludhiana. He got a job with a reputed company of Bahrain. He was a Gursikh and used to perform kirtan at the village Gurdwara. He was at much distance from social evils. To enable the family repay the borrowed money, he used to save every penny which he could and shared room with three other workers, including a Punjabi and two Bengalis. Till his last breath, he could never have imagined that his ‘trusted’ friends and room-mates would turn out to be his assassins just for Rs 2 lakh. Before reaching India Jagdeep had planned to visit his maternal uncle in England and repay his borrowings out of his savings, which he had got withdrawn from bank just prior to his voyage. While he was relaxing in his room, he was assaulted by his room-mates, one of whom punctured his thorat with a kitchen knife. He breathed his last on way to hospital, and the unfortunate family received the news of his murder.

The police authorities at Bahrain refused to hand over the body to representatives of the family there. The police also insisted that until all the three accused were arrested, it will not part with the body which had been kept in a conditioned mortuary. One of the accused Balwinder Singh, who belongs to Ghangora, village but had shown a fictitious address of Chandigarh was caught two days after committing the crime. The police took more than a week to trace the other two accused. The family stands indebited to Mr Balwant Ramoowalia, who impressed upon the Indian Embassy at Bahrain to intervene and expedite the transport of the body to India. His influence also worked at the Air Port, New Delhi, where the formalities were cleared within a couple of minutes after arrival. The Aggrieved parents now advise their agemates not to send their sons abroad. The parents of the three killers are also sailing in the same boat.



Baba with ‘magic powers’ arrested
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The Focal Point police today arrested a self-styled baba from his large dera in Dhandari Kalan today afternoon after receiving innumerable complaints that the alleged impostor had duped hundreds of city residents during the last several months by claiming magical cures of some diseases and victims of black magic.

The alleged accused baba, Satnam Singh Changiara, was arrested after a large contingent of the Focal Point police conducted a massive raid at his dera here today. The alleged impostor had developed a strong fan following in the city. His followers included several big Industrialists of the city. There were at least 2500 followers present in the dera when the police raided it and arrested the suspect.

The self-styled baba has been booked for cheating people. Police sources said the baba claimed to have magical powers and could fulfil the needs and desires of people. However, at the same time he had four wives. He was about 50 years of age but had recently married for the fourth time. The new bride is said to be 22 years of age.

Police sources said the impostor specialised in treating patients suffering from stones besides victims of black magic. Police sources said the baba had mastered several tricks and used to give handful of ash collected from air to the devotees. He used to hide small stones and crushed bones in his sleeves or long nails (he had grown exceptionally very long nails) and after performing some magic tricks used to throw the hidden stones or bones on the ground claiming the victim was cured.

The police has recovered bags full of ashes, partly crushed chicken bones and small stones. The police conducted the raid in mufti and sent two groups in the dera and one stationed at the main gate to stall any move of the followers to close the gate. Once the baba was surrounded, the uniformed police party waiting outside rushed in and arrested the baba. The raid went off peacefully. Later, the followers were also dazed at the recovery material used to trick them.

While the persons suffering from stone problem were turned upside down and cured of the problem, others alleged victims of some black magic played on them by rivals were administered some ‘heavenly’ pills which caused vomiting. The alleged impostor then using his tricks, threw some crushed bones in the vomit. He then claimed that some enemy had played a ‘toona’ (black magic) on them.

The suspect charged a fee of Rs 5000 onwards for curing the victims. The charges for removing the black magic were more. Police sources said a large number of big industrialists or businessmen had become victims. Due to the wide-spread recession, business was not giving fruitful returns. They then fell prey to such self-styled babas possessing magic powers. 



Life term for killing roommate
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Mr S.M.S. Mahal, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, has sentenced Rama Kant (25) of Gobindgarh Colony, Focal Point, Ludhiana, to life imprisonment on the charge of killing his roommate, Vimlesh Kumar, on December 23,1998. A fine of Rs 5,000 has also been imposed upon him.

“I do not find any mitigating circumstances to show any mercy. The deceased was the only breadwinner of his family and his loss to his parents can’t be compensated in any manner. The convict, therefore, deserves deterrent punishment,” observed the judge, while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused, on the ground of he was sole breadwinner of his family.

Sanjay Parshad, co-accused in the case, has already been declared a proclaimed offender.

An FIR was registered against the accused at the Focal Point police station on December 23,1998, under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC, on the complaint of Kuldeep Singh.

Complainant had stated to the police that on that day, around 3 pm, he, along with Thakur Singh, had gone to the room of the accused.

When they reached in the courtyard, they heard noise and entered the room. They saw that Vimlesh had been thrown on the ground by Sanjay Pashad who was holding a knife. Rama Kant had caught Vimlesh by the arms.

Thereafter knife blows were inflicted and Vimlesh died on the spot. The accused had managed to run away.



Anti-Repression Action Committee flays govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Members of the Anti-Repression Action Committee have condemned the “callous attitude” of the state government in resolving the two-month long crises at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Talking to the mediapersons here today, the members said that an early intervention by the Chief Minister could have solved the problem effectively.

They demanded that the police officials responsible for “ill-treating” women staff of the DMCH in jail should be suspended or transferred for their “inhumane behaviour”.

Leaders of the committee said their struggle against the district administration would continue till all problems were solved. “The investigative agency, probing the case, should be changed,” demanded one of the members.

Mr D.P.Maur, convener of the committee, said, “The strike was a success due to the overwhelming support extended by trade unions, social organisations, political parties and public.”

Explaining the objectives of the press conference, Mr Amrit Pal, a member of the committee, said unity of all sections and classes of society against police repression of the DMCH employees and others was the most significant achievement of the struggle.

Speaking on organisational and legal aspects of the agitation, the president of the Bar Association, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, and a former MLA, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, said the agitation against police repression affirmed mass support.

The members have also asked the DMCH management to involve citizens, doctors, employees and students in their committee.

Mr Harish Dhanda said,“ The police is taking care of an injured employee of the DMCH canteen, Mr Rajinder Kumar. He should be allowed to go home as he was not involved in any case.”



Bains’ suspension: settling of political score?
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The suspension of a media advisor to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has taken the teaching community at Punjab Agricultural University by surprise since the action is being viewed as “settling of political scores at personal level ”. But those in the know-how of the episode proclaim that “ the writing was on the wall ”.

Intriguingly, the case of Mr Harcharan Singh Bains, Assistant Professor of English here, is not an isolated case of a university don attending political rallies, as many teachers have been reported to do so in the past. They were issued explanation notices but the matter was never really taken up in earnest and left to fizzle out.

But not this time.

The teachers are understandably agitated and question the rationale behind the action. The biggest question staring the PAU in its face is why has Mr Bains been singled out while other teachers were let off with “mild reprimands and hardly any punishment at all”.

In the light of this incident, it is worth mentioning that during the recent Assembly elections in the state, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, had sought the explanation from Dr Hari Singh Brar, former PAUTA president, Dr M.A. Zaheer, Dean, College of Basic Sciences, and Mr D.P. Maur, President of Employees Union, for openly supporting some candidates in violation of service rules of the PAU.

The explanation was sought as the then Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had asked the Vice-Chancellor to seek an explanation from them for openly canvassing for certain candidates.

Though letters seeking an explanation were issued to them on February 11, no follow-up action was taken by the authorities. Interestingly, the three PAU teachers had replied that explanation for canvassing was an infringement on their fundamental rights.

They further claimed that the teachers who were told to explain were actually practising their right to vote a right person after attending rallies as a part of the audience.

Sources in the PAU are unanimous that the “action is an outcome of the long rivalry between Mr Bains and Mr B.I.S. Chahal and the latter has managed to exert considerable pressure on the authorities this time to take an harsh action against the former.”

The sources said that it is also strange that Mr Bains has chosen to keep quiet about the show cause notice and had not attempted to get in touch with the association.

Interestingly, even old-timers, who have spent considerable time in the association, are not well versed with the code of conduct governing PAU teachers dabbling in politics or participating in such rallies.

They said the code of conduct was vague about teachers exercising their rights as far as political affiliations were concerned, except that no teacher can speak out against the government.

These incidences have been going on for as long as one can remember but no one took it seriously till now. “We are also in touch with other universities in this context,” the sources added.

Meanwhile, Mr Bains is said to have gone into a huddle with his friends and “benefactors” to chalk out a strategy to deal with this issue but the PAUTA top brass too is awaiting to hear the version of Mr Bains before announcing a plan of action. However, he could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Commenting on the action, Dr A.S. Joshi, president, PAUTA, said the association was concerned about the action and would definitely take up his case.

We are examining all angles before proceeding further, he said adding that they would also meet the Vice-Chancellor in this context on Monday. 



Stir if free power is withdrawn: BKU 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Reacting strongly to indications that the state government intended to withdraw the free power-supply facility from the farming community, the BKU made it clear today that farmers would not take the decision lying down and would oppose it with all their might.

BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and secretary-general Manjit Singh Kadian in a joint statement said if forced to resort to agitation, the farmers would give the government a befitting reply. “ From the day Capt Amarinder Singh became the Chief Minister of Punjab, he appeared to be more than keen to slap the power bills on the agricultural sector. The step has been delayed only because he apprehended opposition by farmers in block samiti elections.”

According to Mr Lakhowal, the Congress regime had already disappointed the farmers by “providing nothing in the state budget for the current financial year”.

The crucial issue of Rs 30 per quintal bonus on paddy had also been pushed on the back burner and withdrawal of free power would be a fatal attack on the crisis-ridden farmers, he said adding that if the government went ahead with the move, the BKU would launch a mass agitation in the state.

Alleging that the new government was pursuing anti-farmer policies and there was a visible bias against rural population, Mr Lakhowal and Mr Kadian said the development work s in the state had come to a standstill.

The development grants provided to villages by the previous government had been taken back. “It is strange that the Congress government has targeted only the farmers for withdrawal of free power-supply facility, while similar incentives and facilities granted by the previous SAD-BJP government to other sections like traders, industrialists and employees remain untouched,” they said.

The BKU activists termed the management of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) as the biggest culprit behind this “ill-conceived move of the government”.

“Under a well thought-out conspiracy, the PSEB top brass has attributed the massive deficit to the free power- supply to the farming sector, which is contrary to the facts.” They said the PSEB was in the red not because of the farmers, but due to rampant corruption and gross financial mismanagement.

The government and the PSEB were out to punish the farmers for their own lapses, but would have to pay a heavy price for this, the BKU functionaries added.



Tohra flays Centre for opposing EC
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 24
“The Centre has acted like a pro-capitalist by waiving Rs 57,000 crore of loans to traders on the ground that businesses have collapsed, but failed to save drought-hit farmers and labourers, who are, now, in Rs 47,000 crore of debt,” said Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, MP and president of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), at a function in Bahbalpur village near here late yesterday. Mr Tohra said the Centre had been biased in allotting plots in New Delhi to members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at rates much lower that the market value of the land. He said, as all parties “had gone corrupt”, voters should bring in a change.

The SHSAD chief said the Centre had violated the Supreme Court directions regarding an Election Commission notification by passing an ordinance with amendment that had, now, been sent back to the government by the President for clarification.

He said the President had done this because certain clauses in the earlier conditions for the allotment had been deleted to shield those who had been favoured. He said the Prime Minister had sought the consent of all parties on this, which only the SHSAD had not given. He criticised all other parties for supporting the amendments.

“Only one person in the state is fighting against corruption, while his ministers are waiting to amass wealth. Even in the Badal era, in three districts, there had been misappropriation of Rs 250 crore of the FCI funds,” he said.

Mr Rajinder Singh Tohra, president of the Patiala unit of the SHSAD, said, from September 10 to 25, the party would observe an anti-Badal fortnight. The other youth Akali leaders who spoke on the occasion included Mr Randhir Singh Rakhra, Mr Vinod Kumar Sood, Mr Randhir Singh Bhadson and Mr Surinder Singh Kairon.



Ludhiana-Lyallpur emotional links

The links are historical as well as emotional. The ties are rooted in memories despite distance of time and space. Bonds were economic and academic, commercial and agricultural. The strongest link is charged with intense emotion Ludhiana is the birth place of Sukhdev Thapar, Lyallpur that of Bhagat Singh. Lyallpur, Samundri, Toba Tek Singh, Shorekot, Kamalia, Pir Mahal, Tandlianwala, Gojra, etc. exite emotion. The bonds were cemented by settlers. The original residents cherish a deep sense of belonging. Ludhianvis struck roots. They were uprooted and returned with nostalgia. It is a sentimental link.

The lands of Malwa and the western bars co-existed geologically and geographically, besides politically and administratively, till 1947. Malwa and Sandalbar lacked reliable irrigation. Arid lands were mostly rain-fed. Ludhiana partly had well-irrigation. Yield was scanty despite hard labour. The Sirhind canal opened gates to food crops — wheat, rice. Also cash crop, cotton. A big leap forward came through the inauguration of the Lower Chenab canal. Bigger boost arrived with the triple canal Project in the western bars, either side of the Ravi. Irrigation revolutionised agriculture. Ludhiana prospered. Lyallpur became a land of promise. A century ago it was like present Canada or California.

Till the arrival of Sirhind canal, the sandy tract of Malwa jungal just could sustain its common folks at survival level. It was hard work demanding heavy sweat. A struggle for existence, both trying and exacting. The state of life in the western Punjab bars was worse. Vast lands were waste lands. Nomads moved from place to place with their families and herds. The canalisation followed by colonisation transformed the lands in a few of years. Lower Chenab canal made Lyallpur a symbol of prosperity.

Every town and city has an image, good or poor. A rare one transcends as symbol. Amritsar (Guru-ki-nagri/commercial capital), Jalandahr (city of Sehgal/music), Ludhiana (Manchester of India), Lahore (city of gardens/lights), Lyallpur (crown of agriculture), etc. Sandal bar was sparsely populated. The British Government of India attracted peasant families from over-populated districts. Ludhiana farmers got a fair share of newlands. Normally, a family was allotted 55 acres. It naturally was too much for a ploughman tilling 5 or 7 acres. The then government devised more ways. The Raj richly rewarded the faithful sectors, gave incentive to Army men. Most of the zaildars and jagirdars derived rich benefit. Ludhiana feudals entered a new phase of prosperity. Peasants were assured better life. Colonisation took a decade. Named after Sir James Lyall, Lt. Governor (1882-1887), Lyallpur as town appeared in 1904. It was imaginatively planned with eight straight bazars. One gole bazar joined all running as circle half-way through. A tall clock tower stood as central landmark. Ludhiana and Lyallpur clock-towers are twins, built in 1905, to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Queen Victoria reign.

The blood and sweat, tilling and toiling of new settlers transformed the economy. Wheat and cotton flooded Karachi port for exports. It is the story of half a century covering just two generations (1900-1947) Lower Chenab canal by 1911-12 irrigated 23, 34, 090 acres of arid/parched lands. It brought 34 per cent as interest, a feat of agricultural planning. Come 1947, whole things turned topsy-turvy. The Hindus and Sikhs left their cherished lands. Original Ludhianvis returned home empty-handed. They were rehabilited in several villages on migrants’ lands. Lyall Book Depot of Lyallpur found place here.

A few families, which came as refugees, enriched Ludhiana in many ways. The Munjals of Kamalia built the Hero Industrial Empire with Hero Cycles, Hero-Honda, etc. The followers of Santji Kamaliaywale have amply transformed Doraha. Ram Narain Singh Dardi inspired all the members of family to be college teachers. Going around, one reads Lyallpur with a bakery, a sweet shop, besides tailoring or electric shop, etc. The great Ludhiana-Lyallpur link is Punjab Agricultural University. 

M.S. Cheema



Create jobs to end petty crimes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Growing unemployment, drug addiction among the youth and several other such factors are responsible for the increase in incidents of snatching here. Hundreds of factories in the city, hit by recession, have been reducing their manpower instead of generating more job opportunities. Several retrenched persons take to petty crimes like hold-ups.

The youth here like to have an affluent lifestyle and all material possessions, even if they do not have the necessary qualifications for getting a decent job. The lure of easy money makes them stray into the company of criminals. Those who play big stakes in lottery, ‘satta’ or gambling and lose also take to petty crimes to clear debts.

Persons who migrate to Punjab from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh include many criminals, who come here to evade arrest. They find jobs in factories or elsewhere, but remain on the lookout for opportunities to make easy money by stealing, kidnapping or snatching.

A former Senior Superintendent of Police here, Mr Kuldeep Singh, had tried to scare away criminals among migrants by ordering the screening of migrants which never took place. However, it’ll be a lot easier to tell all factory owners to submit particulars of migrant labourers working in their units. However, the bonafides of self-employed migrants like rickshaw-pullers and daily-wagers will have to be verified by various beat officials appointed by the SSP.



Onam celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Onam, national festival of Kerala , which is held to invite the King of Mahabali, was celebrated with fervour at CMC Hospital here yesterday.

The function started with the lighting of a lamp by Dr Kamal Masih after which a prayer was jointly held by the administrative staff and students of the medical institute. Dr Joshi, Principal, Christian Dental College, was the chief guest on the occasion. Later, a sumptuous feast was served to the participants which included 25 different South Indian delicacies.

The gathering on the occasion also extended a warm welcome to Raja Mahabali, the king of Onam festival. Among the prominent personalities present on the occasion were Dr Madan Lal, Dr Mary Abrahm, Dr Litty, Dr Sali Jaison, Mr C.G. Abraham, Mr Krishan Kumar, Mr Tulseedharan Pillai and Mr K.T. Verghese.



Boy held for killing friend
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 24
The police has arrested Rajiv Kumar(18) on the charge of allegedly killing his friend Rajdeep Singh (15) by pushing him in Bakhara Canal at Sirhind on July 21.

The accused was produced before the court of Senior Sub-Judge G.S. Dhillon, today. The court remanded him till August 26.

It may be mentioned that Rajiv along with Rajdeep and three other friends, had gone for swimming in the canal. According to those who accompanied them, Rajiv allegedly pushed Rajdeep in the canal. The body was recovered from the canal, near Nabha, on July 27.



Poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 24
The Raikot police seized 50 bags of poppy husk, worth Rs 6 lakh, and registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. According to a press note issued by Mr M.S. Chhina, SSP, a police party raided the house of Inder Singh at Nurpuraand village and seized 50 bags of poppy husk. He was arrested on the spot.

The house from where the said poppy husk had been seized belonged to Madan Singh of Ranchi (Bihar). 



Family drugged, looted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Four members of a family and a servant were allegedly drugged and looted of thousands of rupees by another servant working in the house in Phase-II Urban Estate Focal Point last night.

The victim family remained unconscious for several hours. They are now stated to be out of danger. A case against the accused servant, Hari Ram, has been registered.



Material stolen

DORAHA: Raw material was stolen from a chemical factory situated on the Chandigarh road near Mangali (Nichi) village on Thursday.

According to factory owner Satpal Gupta of Udham Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, 25 sacks of raw material valued at Rs 40,000 were stolen from his factory. The thieves, he said, entered the factory premises from the rear. OC



BSNL mobile phone service by Divali: 
General Manager
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
‘The Telecom department is committed for providing better services to its customers and several steps are being taken to achieve this objective,” said Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) while inaugurating 19th cash collection centre in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar locality here today.

Explaining the underlying motive behind opening of cash counters at different places in the city, Mr Julka said it was a part of improved customer services. With a cash counter within easy reach, the subscribers would not need to stand in long queues at post offices or to go to far away located TRA offices for depositing telephone bills. Moreover, at these cash counters, there was no upper ceiling for cash payment of bills unlike the post offices where cash payment was accepted only upto an amount of Rs 2500.

Mr Jhulka said the department would soon provide the service of ‘on line’ payment of telephone bills and further a mobile cash counter would also become operational in the city in the near future. “The much awaited mobile phone service of BSNL will be available around the coming Divali and the department will endeavour to provide services comparable to private mobile service operators,” he said

Earlier, Mr Julka inaugurated a cash counter in Samrala town and announced that nearby towns of Sahnewal and Doraha would also soon have such counters.

SAMRALA: The General Manager (Telecom), Ludhiana, Mr G.S. Julka, inaugurated an on line cash counter at Samrala Divisional Office where the telephone subscribers of 23 exchanges, nearly 250 villages including Khamanon, Machhiwara and Samrala, could deposit their bills instead of paying the same in post offices.

Subscribers from outside of this area could also deposit their bills if their cheques/drafts were issued from Samrala.

While talking to mediapersons, Mr Julka said the consumers would be provided STD facilities from their homes itself and the cards be available from the Divisional Offices. In these offices, Fax facilities would also be available, he added.

On this occasion, the Deputy General Manager, Mr M.M. Agnihotri, Khanna, Divisional Engineer Telephones, Mr Mohinder Singh, were also present.


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